Man Becomes a Real-Life Santa Claus for Families Struggling to Pay School Lunches

Close-up of Santa?s hands with wallet while counting money

As the saying goes, "it's better to give than receive," and my does this heartwarming story reflect just that. A Secret Santa paid for overdue lunch balances at an elementary school, giving back in such a major way. This Good Samaritan's actions were completely unexpected and will challenge you to pay it forward.


Amy Larcinese, the principal at the HW Good Elementary School in Herminie, Pennsylvania, still can't believe this unnamed man came to her school with a check, for more than $900, on December 7 that helped pay for the overdue lunch balances of 44 children who attend the roughly 300-student elementary school.

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Referring to him as "Secret Santa" to conceal his identity, Larcinese explained to KDKA 2 News:

For some our kids the only meal they get are the two they get in school. ...

[Secret Santa] showed up here ... with a check, paid off all the account balances and also asked if there was a student with a very large account balance, and paid for that child's lunch for the rest of the month as well....

It's an amazing feeling someone would want to help as many students as they have.


I can't help but smile at the thought of such a beautiful and selfless action. I often struggled with food insecurity growing up and have more memories than I'd like of being fearful there would be nothing to eat at home, let alone at school.

What this man did not only provides struggling families with a bit of financial relief, but also proves there are still good people in this world.

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Principal Larcinese tells ABC News, "A few families contacted us, saying how they were so appreciative of the help especially given the holidays. Sometimes, all we see are the sad things going on in the world, so it's really, really nice to know there are great people out there would give up their things to help others."

I believe in community, and I believe in giving back. This story inspires me to do more -- beyond the holiday season -- as there are so many people who are down on their luck (working to get out of their situation) in great need. I've been there. I've experienced it. And my heart sympathizes with families who struggle with both food and financial insecurity.

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There are no words to express how thankful I am that both my husband and I can provide for our 2½- and 1½-year-old boys without hesitation. I want to be able to do the same for other families and will continue to look for opportunities to do so through volunteering and donating both time and goods.

I don't know who you are, Secret Santa, but I thank you for showing us the meaning of the season and challenging us to think of others.

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