This past Saturday, the 32 youth center kids were finally able to spend their $100 gift cards on whatever they wanted.
For a few weeks, the kids were tricked into thinking they would receive a card between $20 and $100, but right before they went shopping, they were given a surprise.
“I thought maybe the officers would have gotten a little more than the rest of the youth cabinet,” said on of the recipients, Alyssa Mayo. “I was super surprised when he said all of us get $100.”
The kids were able to go shopping parent-free and were told they could buy anything they wanted, whether it was for themselves or a gift for someone else.
One of the kids spent most of his money on gifts for his family.
“All I had left was like $84 so I didn’t know what else to get,” said another recipient, Davin Davis. “I bought me some shampoo and conditioner and I bought a onesie, cause I’ve always wanted one.”
Davis felt it was important for him to give back to his loved ones this Christmas.
“Usually every year, everyone has just given to me and I just feel like I wanted to give so I was like, ‘If I’m gonna get stuff from my family, and I never really give to them, so why don’t I just spend all my money on them this year?’”
Other kids weren’t so sure about what they were going to buy.
“I think I’m gonna buy a bunch of art stuff, honestly. Well, maybe not all art stuff. I’m not sure what else.” said Mayo.
Others bought gifts like fish, basketballs, food and video games.
The AAYC Executive Director Matt Hite expressed what the ‘Secret Santa’s’ gift means to the youth center.
“He’s done a great service for our community, to help a lot of youth have a great Christmas,” said Hite.
The kids said they are grateful for their ‘Secret Santa’ who made their shopping spree possible this Christmas.