SAN DIEGO–Sheriff’s deputies were out in force to spread holiday cheer all over San Diego county last Saturday.
Every day Sheriff’s deputies encounter people in need while they are out on patrol. They reach into their own pockets to lend a helping hand.
Three anonymous local businessmen with big hearts heard about these stories and decided to make a difference. They generously donated more than $17,000 in cash to people in need of holiday cheer.
Operation Secret Santas kicked off with Secret Santas going on ride-alongs with deputies carrying cash. They traveled to Alpine, Casa de Oro, Encinitas, Jamul, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, San Marcos, Spring Valley, Solana Beach and unincorporated areas of La Mesa.
Deputies knocked on the doors of people recommended by schools, churches, apartment managers, and resource centers. They handed out between $100 and $500 in cash. Deputies also distributed money to people they contacted on the street or at thrift shops, as well as traffic stops.
The recipients were in stunned disbelief. Others burst into tears of gratitude. Some responded with bear hugs overcome by emotion. They include a victim of domestic violence, a single mother with four children who recently lost her job, a homeless woman who lives in her truck, a father with two children who also lost his job due to an injury, a family with a newborn child struggling to pay their bills, a homeless man living in his truck, a waitress, a family with ten foster children and more.
It was also a very special experience for Sheriff’s deputies. Deputies say they are grateful to be part of something so remarkable. They were glad to be the “helpers” of the Secret Santas and touched by the reaction of the people they serve.
The spirit of giving is in the air, with anonymous donors leaving cash at the Encinitas Sheriff’s Station, and on the windshield of a patrol car totaling $1,100. This amount was donated to Wounded Warriors and a single mother in need.