Anonymous Shawnee resident continues Secret Santa campaign

December 18, 2018 - 8:00 am

For the fourth consecutive year a Shawnee resident has anonymously donated $10,000 in $100 bills to be handed out by the city's police officers.

He or she simply calls the program Secret Santa. Police officers take bills on their beats and give them to people who appear to need a hand up. Most decisions come at the spur of the moment.

"One officer went to an auto parts store," said Officer Roman Madrigal. "There was a lady there and she needed a battery for her vehicle, and he helped her out and made that purchase."

A common way to find recipients is to stop a vehicle, perhaps one that needs a new tail light. The officer informs the driver about the equipment violation, then hands over a hundred dollars with a cheerful, "Merry Christmas."

Officers have also found needy people at restaurants and retail stores. The Secret Santa program continues until all the money is given away.

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