The holidays are all about bringing people together.
We may have differences as a country, but one thing Americans are known for, is coming together during the holidays. Even the ones who disagree with each other.
Putting aside our differences, at least for a brief time, allows us to enjoy the holidays more.
So today I’d like to shine the spotlight on eight stories about Americans doing kind things for each other. Regardless of political affiliations or religious beliefs.
Secret Santa Hands Out $100,000 to Needy
First I want to tell you about a businessman. His name is… well, I don’t know his name. Nobody seems to know it.
But every year about this time, this anonymous gentleman takes approximately $100,000 out of his personal bank account.
He receives it in $100 bills. One thousand of them. Then he travels across the country, giving the money to strangers in need.
He’s known as the Secret Santa. And once again this year he has brought joy to the hearts of hundreds of people.
Generosity Softens Harvey’s Wrath
Among those receiving cash gifts from their Secret Santa this year were folks left homeless by Hurricane Harvey.
A grandmother who lost everything in that vicious storm was unable to buy her grandkids Christmas presents. That is, until Secret Santa showed up and handed her $300.
He also gave a big chunk of cash to police officers in Beaumont, Texas, where Harvey caused so much carnage. They then handed the money to people who had been badly affected by the flooding.
Some of these gifts helped break down barriers between the police and residents.
Santa B. Settles Holiday Gift Bills
Secret Santa apparently has a brother. Or perhaps a cousin or nephew. Nobody’s sure because this man also prefers to stay anonymous.
He’s known around Everett, Pennsylvania as “Santa B.” For the second year in a row, he visited a Walmart store in the area. But not to buy anything.
He went there to settle hundreds of random people’s layaway holiday gift bills. They totaled approximately $40,000.
As a result, hundreds of kids will have gifts under their Christmas trees they might not have had otherwise.
Wreaths Across America Carries On
Let’s switch gears for a moment. Twenty-six years ago, a program called Wreaths Across America was established. The purpose was to honor our fallen heroes.
Every year before the holidays, wreaths are laid at the gravesites of U.S. service men and women who gave their lives for their country. The program is still going strong today.
The main ceremony is held at Arlington National Cemetery. If you’ve ever visited this sacred place, you know how special it is. But it is only one of 1,200 sites where a total of 1.5 million wreaths are laid each year.
Families of fallen soldiers often find it especially difficult to cope with their losses during the holiday season. And that makes Wreaths Across America even more appreciated.
Carrying Each Other’s Burdens
Those are just a few of the heartwarming stories associated with this year’s holiday season. There are plenty more.
Like the eye doctor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He came into his office on his day off to treat an elderly, wheelchair-bound patient who badly needed an injection.
He even walked out to her car and carried her in his arms across the snow-covered parking lot and into his office building.
Like the teenage girl who stopped near the finish line at the recent Dallas Marathon to pick up a collapsed, 32-year-old woman. The girl helped the woman up and over the finish line – in first place in the women’s division.
Spreading Good Will at Goodwill
Like the anonymous donor in Fort Collins, Colorado. For nearly 10 years now, he has bought every toy at the local Goodwill. Then he arranges with the manager to give a gift to every child who walks in the store during the holiday season.
Like the young couple who just donated hundreds of thousands of dollars they earned from a stock investment to the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center in South Carolina.
Like the 8-year-old New Jersey boy who conducted a toy drive resulting in the collection of 1,000 toys. He donated all of them to young victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico.
The Best Good Deeds Are Unconditional
What stands out to me about these gestures of kindness is this: Nobody asked anyone what political party they belonged to. Nobody asked anyone what religion they were. Nobody asked anyone about their lifestyles.
It was human beings with kind hearts doing something special for other human beings in need around the holidays.
Just think what our country – and our world – would be like if more people with resources took that approach to life. During all 12 months of the year!
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