Secret Santa spreads Christmas cheer with $100 bills

Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:48pm EST
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By Bruce Olson

ST. LOUIS (Reuters Life!) - The Secret Santa Claus of St. Louis had no beard, no pot belly and no reindeer.

She was a diminutive business woman, smartly dressed in a red beret jacket, blue jeans and a black scarf to fight the icy winds off the Mississippi River.

Escorted by firemen through city neighborhoods, she was one of a dozen or so Secret Santas who have given away thousands of dollars across the nation the week before Christmas.

While passing by the Goody Goody Diner and empty lots, she suddenly became emotional.

"There will never be enough," she told a reporter along for the ride. "It's so overwhelming to know that there are so many needy people. I know I'll never be able to give enough to everybody who needs money. That leaves an empty feeling."

After seeing a woman holding a little boy at a bus stop the Secret Santa handed her a $100 bill and said "Merry Christmas."

Lakeisha Starks, a 20-year-old college student who is raising two young children on her own, looked up slowly, a giant grin spreading across her face.

"I was just taking my son to the doctor. Thank you so much," she said.   Continued...