Secret Santa Leaves Gifts For Strangers At Gas Pumps

9:54 PM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
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WYOMING, MI-- All around the Grand Rapids area this week, people buying gasoline are finding gifts waiting for them at the pumps.

"Leading up to Christmas we usually go to various gas stations and leave fuel cards and cookies at the gas pumps," says a Secret Santa, who wants to remain anonymous.

"It's more fun to stay anonymous," says his wife.

"I'd just rather people get it and not know where it came from," explains her husband.

Together the couple has left pre-paid gas cards in a variety of denominations at dozens of gas pumps. Carissa McBurney found one when she pulled in for gas at the Speedway on 28th Street at Byron Center Avenue in Wyoming.

"It's actually wonderful," she says. "I'm very surprised. We are quite low on money and funds for the Christmas season so it's a wonderful gift."

The Secret Santas are not rich; just generous. They say they enjoy seeing people smile.

"We started doing this years ago for no reason," says Mr. Secret Santa. "From there on, it's been non stop."

"Why not help someone out?" Adds his wife.

At first, Jimmy Melinn thought it was a hoax when he found a gas card at the Speedway pump.

"I can't believe it," he said. "Especially around the holidays when work is slow. This is like a God's gift."

The Secret Santas also go to restaurants to anonymously pay for people's meals.

By Christmas, they estimate they will have secretly given over 200 gifts of various amounts. They hope their story will inspire people to also find ways to help each other.

"Hopefully it starts a chain reaction," says Mrs. Secret Santa. "And not just at Christmas; all year."

"Why not?" adds her husband. "I can't do it for everybody but I know the people I do it for are thankful. It feels great to do something like that."


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