ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deputies found people who could truly use some help for the holidays and gave them a $100 gift card. And it was all thanks to an anonymous donor who gifted the agency $10,000 in gift cards.
Rayne Key, a new mom, was one of the people surprised with a $100 gift card.
They didn’t know just how badly she needed it.
“We have like $10 left," Key said. “We need diapers and baby food. We’re running out of formula. It’s a lot that we need to cover and we don’t have jobs yet. It takes a little stress off that’s for sure. It’s really appreciated a lot.”
Lt. Jim Priester passed out many of the gift cards Tuesday.
“It’s a lot different than being in someone’s rearview mirror, you know, when you see a uniform like this it’s like ‘what have I done now.’ But it’s not always. St. Johns County we like to get out, talk to our folks. It’s not always about enforcing the law. It’s helping people,” Priester said.
This is the donor’s fourth year giving the gift. The secret Santa also gives $10,000 in gift cards to Clay County deputies to pass out and $30,000 to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to give out.
“We’re so thankful that there is someone in this world that would share their good fortune with other folks that they don’t even know and then on top of that allow law enforcement to deliver their cheer for them,” Priester said.
St. Johns deputies made sure each recipient was truly in need.
“We call local churches, business partners, community patterns. We want to make sure when we’re giving the gift out, it’s deserved and it’s something they truly need. Not just like 'Oh yeah 100 bucks no big deal.’ We want it to mean something,” Priester said.