When a camera crew wearing festive hats arrives at your doorstep with a mysterious gift of $5,000, it’s normal to be skeptical. But 77-year-old Diane Pratt, who works a paper route, soon found out the gifts she received that day were not a scam, and that Secret Santa is very real.
After being nervous about receiving the gift, and repeatedly asking, “Is this real?” Pratt broke down in tears, thanking the EastIdahoNews.com team for the gift, which will go toward purchasing a washer and dryer, a refrigerator and gas for her car.
She was one of more than 50 people in the community chosen to take part in an annual Secret Santa giveaway hosted by the EastIdahoNews.com team and funded by one anonymous community member who pledges $500,000 every year around the holidays to be given away to local families in need.
Pratt, a former police officer, said she had no retirement fund and her only source of income was social security. In order to make ends meet, she wakes up every morning around 4 a.m. to deliver newspapers. But the job requires her to use her personal vehicle and pay for her own gas.
Following the surprise, Pratt called EastIdahoNews.com to thank them and the Secret Santa for the generous gift.
“Whoever he is, tell him he’s on my list every night for my prayers,” she told them over the phone. “I thank him from the bottom of my heart.”