Random Act of Kindness: Christmas made merry due to Secret Santa

Thanks to a random act of kindness, a Two Rivers woman had a Christmas holiday filled with gifts.

Germaine Thiel submitted the January winning entry in the Random Acts of Kindness Contest, sponsored by U.S. Bank and the Herald Times Reporter.

Following is Thiel’s story:

On Thursday, Dec. 22, Sarah Gallagher of the Two Rivers Senior Center came to my house with a surprise. When I met her at the door, she handed me three big packages, all wrapped in a pretty snowman paper, plus a pretty gift bag.

I couldn’t believe it was for me — I never had anyone do this.

Sarah told me my “Secret Santa” had contacted her at the Senior Center with the following story:

When I was very small, we had a large family and money was tight for us. One Christmas, my parents didn’t have the money for gifts so they asked a local store if they could charge a gift for each one of us and pay later. Well the storeowner took them around his store shortly after closing and helped them pick out gifts for us, filling three carts. When they got to the register, my mother told him that they had could not afford it all. The storeowner told them each year they give a Christmas to a family, and this year the family was ours.

So each year, my family gives another family a Christmas. We usually have a human services agency pick out a family for us, get a present list, and go out and shop. This year, we thought we would do it for a senior who possibly doesn’t have family or is very limited financially … someone who is in need of feeling good this Christmas.

The family picked me this year, and I am truly grateful.

It was so exciting. I could hardly wait for Christmas Eve to come when I could open these beautiful packages.

They gave me help for those things I need like a grocery store gift card, monthly bus pass, tickets to ride in the rolling wheels, so I can get to the doctor. They treated me to a beautiful green spring jacket, a housecoat and slippers. I also found body fragrance and splash-on cologne.

I just couldn’t (and still can’t) believe one family would do this for me. I don’t have much family: a daughter, who is ill, and a granddaughter out of Wisconsin.

This was truly a special Christmas and thank you to the Secret Santa in Two Rivers.

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