Donor shows the giving side of Christmas

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Brookhaven has a secret Santa, and he’s been mighty generous this year.

An anonymous donor provided 285 bikes for the Junior Auxiliary’s Wish Tree project.

The Wish Tree project began Nov. 2 when pink and blue paper ornaments were hung on six Christmas trees located in designated spots around town. These ornaments represented 285 children from almost 150 families.

“In a story in The Daily Leader’s Brookhaven Magazine, I said we had 75 bikes donated last year and the goal this year was 100 bikes,” said Junior Auxiliary Wish Tree Co-Chairman Mendez Vaughan. “I got a call from a gentleman and he said ‘Well what if you had 285 bikes, how would you like that?’”

Vaughan said tears welled up in her eyes and she felt it was an answer to prayer. Every child on each Wish Tree would have a brand new bike and helmet on Christmas Day.

On the conservative side, that’s about $14,000 in bicycles and helmets. That’s a sizable donation for sure.

“I was blown away,” Vaughan said. “Not only are bikes a childhood staple, but a healthy one at that. Having a bike as a child is one of the things that allows them to be active. I, like many others, have great childhood memories riding my bike. We wanted to provide that for every child, and now we actually will.”

Though the newspaper is often tasked with reporting what many call “bad” news, it’s heartwarming to be able to show the good in this community as well. JA’s secret Santa has shown us all what generosity looks like, and what the Christmas season is all about.

To the secret Santa, whoever you are, thanks for brightening the lives of 285 local children.