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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Secret Santa Recruits Bus Drivers To Hand Out Thousands of Dollars To Unsuspecting Passengers

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Bus drivers have been getting a lot of press lately for their acts of kindness. They’re scouts on wheels, and as such they have plenty of opportunities to notice when things go amiss and can jump in to help.

Last December, Irena Ivic with the Milwaukee County Transit System spotted an underdressed toddler wandering alone on the sidewalk in the cold. She scooped him up and got him back to safety.

In May, Cecilia Nation-Gardner — also with MCTS — saw a 6-year-old boy who had autism wander into traffic. She sprang into action, saving him from what could have been a very sad fate.

In July, Nation-Gardner was back at it again in a double rescue: Both she and another MCTS driver both rescued young children who had been wandering, alone and lost along their routes.

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It makes total sense, then, that when a Secret Santa was looking for a suitable team of “Elves” to hand out Christmas gifts, he settled upon MCTS drivers.

“We’re going to be on the biggest sleigh we’ve ever had,” he said, according to CBS News. “And the magic is going to be like gold dust flying across the city.”

The unnamed Secret Santa is an older gentleman who has made it his tradition to hand out large bills to unsuspecting strangers. The usual amount he surprises people with is $100, but sometimes he doles out up to $300.

He seems to know who could use the cash the most, seeking out many of his recipients at thrift stores.

Likewise, those using public transport might be more in need of a little holiday blessing — and the bus drivers were more than happy to participate in handing out thousands of dollars worth of bills.

“It was a great experience,” said one driver. “It’s going to stick with me the rest of my life.”

Video of the gifting has been circulating, warming hearts with its generosity.

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When the bills stamped with “SECRET SANTA” are pressed into the palms of the travelers, they don’t seem to know quite how to react.

“I said what?” one person said. “This is a dream or something.”

Recipients weren’t the only ones getting teary — the drivers got emotional as well. They seemed to get as much joy from their role in the gifting as the passengers did in receiving.

As for Secret Santa, he shared the recipe for promoting Christmas Spirit: “If you ever feel down, if you ever feel a little depressed, and you want to solve your problem, go out and do something kind for somebody — because when you do that, you’re uplifting yourself.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking