A San Francisco church had a very busy morning on Tuesday as thousands of needy children waited outside to receive free toys.
Glide Memorial Church was prepared for the giveaway, which began at 9 a.m. Dec. 20 with barricades and several helpers. The first family arrived for the giveaway early at 4 p.m. on Monday. The children received gifts including toys, bikes, and sporting equipment.
"We know the economy has hit everybody. We anticipate that there will probably be more people in line for toys this year as there were more people in line for food bags," said Janice Mirikitani, Founding President of Glide Memorial Church, according to ABClocal.com
Glide Church received help from Charles Schwab, an investment services company. The church also received help from individual donations. In total, organizers say they gave away 8,000 toys this year; workers felt confident that no child left empty-handed, although the line of children was long.
Acts of kindness have not been a rarity this holiday season. “Secret Santa” donors have been reported all over the country paying layaway bills anonymously.
Emily Gutzeit, an Ohio single mother of two, told local news 10TV that she was surprised when she arrived at the K-Mart layaway department, and a couple approached her and said that they would pay off her bill of $220. The couple wanted to remain anonymous and would not give Gutzeit their names.
K-Mart managers said that Gutzeit was not the only family who received help from Secret Santas. Several anonymous individuals walked in to the K-Mart and asked to pay off gifts for children and families who had trouble making payments.
In all, $2,500 in bills had been paid off by anonymous donors, 10TV reported. MyFox news also reported several Secret Santas in the New Jersey area.
“I told a woman that she could go in front of me so that I could check the prices on my items that I had,” said Tosha Carver, a single mother of three told FOX 29. "And she told me, 'You don't have to worry about it. Put your keys, your cell phone in your pocketbook and go. I have a thousand dollars for you and your girls.’”
After the woman paid, Carver said the woman disappeared."I'm so full of joy, my heart is warm, and I just want to say thank you to her. I don't know who she was, but I just want to say thank you," said Carver.