Metro-East News

Secret Santa’s gifts will help the needy in Southern Illinois town

A secret Santa is making the holiday season a little merrier in this Southern Illinois town.

For the second year in a row, a mysterious donor has given cards to the Du Quoin Police Department to distribute to those in the community who need an extra boost, according to a story by the Du Quoin Evening Call. The secret Santa dropped off his latest haul at City Hall on Monday. Mayor Guy Alongi found a manilla envelope with 10 Christmas cards and a note inside the envelope.

The letter read:

“Enclosed are several Christmas cards that you will find with a special gift in each one. The elves and I would like for our police officers to pass them out in your community to whomever they think needs a Christmas cheer.

“Please let the officers know how much we appreciate this as we are just too busy this time of year to do it ourselves. Also, thank you for lighting Main Street with all of the pretty lights because it looks like a runway and makes it easier to land the sleigh on Christmas Eve.

“It is very nice to see your community embracing what Christmas stands for with the addition of the manger and the Christmas tree.

“Merry Christmas and you have a Happy New Year. (Signed) Santa Claus.”

It is unknown what is inside each of the Christmas cards. The Evening Call reported that something similar happened in the town last year as money was given to people who received those cards. Alongi told the Evening Call he knew who last year’s secret Santa was but does not know who this year’s version is.

The first envelope from this year’s secret Santa was handed out on Monday, according to WSIL TV 3.

WSIL reported that Jetee Ehler found $100 inside the card she was given by police officer Rustin Juhl.

“I’m grateful. I don’t want to cry,” Ehler told WSIL.

Don O’Brien: 618-239-2626, @DOBrienBND