PITTSBURGH — An Armstrong County school district says the true meaning of Christmas was taught to its students this year with the actions of a secret Santa.
The small community of Leechburg has seen economic trouble in the last decade, but people who live there have never given up hope.
“In our district we’ve had an increase in poverty and with some families struggling with that,” David Leech Elementary School Principal David Kiebler said.
While many schools face similar problems, Kiebler said not all receive a handwritten letter from a man who once worked in the town.
Here is a portion of the letter: “I commend you and your staff for the postie approach of addressing poverty as it relates to your students. I guess ideally I’d like to see every student from your school take home a gift for Christmas. I would prefer that my donation remain anonymous, you can attribute to a secret Santa.”
“I had tears in my eyes. I said, ‘I can’t even believe this.’ And I didn’t even get to the check yet,” said guidance counselor, Danielle Matus. “I was just reading the letter, and then when I saw the check, I seriously lost it.”
Along with the two-page note was a $10,000 check, which left staff speechless.
“It was very emotional at the time,” said Kiebler.
It led the school to send home letters asking the school’s 319 children to pick an item from Amazon for $30 or less. From books to Lego, Barbies and games, the children picked something they wanted.
The Friday before Christmas break students were given a letter from Santa, who visited the school saying they will get their gifts once they all arrive.
“I hope this is a huge lesson for our children to see what you can give and it’s something this gentleman got the pride of giving this to them and seeing it with them, which is the biggest part Christmas is about, is giving to others,” said Kiebler.
The Leechburgh secret Santa is making us proud to be from Pittsburgh.
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