A delighted Crystal Goins-North takes a selfie with Rutherford County Sheriff’s Deputy Grant Quintal after he gives her $100 from Secret Santa.
Mrs. Santa wiped tears away when she learned the impact of $7,200 she and her Secret Santa husband donated to Rutherford County Sheriff’s patrol deputies to give away last week.
Secret Santa and Mrs. Santa gave 72 deputies $100 bills to distribute to people they encountered for Christmas. This is the fourth year they sponsored the event.
Deputy Grant Quintal drove around Walmart until he located Crystal Goins-North and surprised her with the $100 bill. She had spent the past few weeks collecting Christmas presents for a mother who needed help supplying Christmas for her three young sons.
In her Facebook video, Goins-North described the $100 gift as incredible.
“I was so emotional about us being able to get that mama Christmas,” Goins-North said as she began crying. “Everybody pitched in. I want to encourage you. Our God is faithful and He is going to return it. It’s so wonderful that we never go without.”
Mrs. Santa said she was overwhelmed when she listened to the woman’s story.
“As soon as she started talking about it, I felt this warm feeling in my heart,” Mrs. Santa said. “I felt so happy God blessed us so we could do this. We do it because we felt God wanted us to bless someone’s heart.”
Here are some of the stories about how deputies gave away the $100 bills.
Sgt. Bryant Gregory gave $100 to the man who called 911 last week to report a young father allegedly was choking his 2-month-old baby.
“I couldn’t thank him enough for calling 911 and being a part of saving that baby’s life,” Gregory said. “He told me he has two children himself and hopefully it can go to giving them a good Christmas.”
Cpl. Scott Martin gave $100 to a fairly new emergency room nurse.
“Front-line workers in the hospital deserve so much more than that these days,” Martin said. “Plus she is expecting a new baby. I wish we could give them all extra cash.”
Deputy Jason Leathers presented the $100 to a caregiver who takes care of COVID-19 patients at a senior citizens center.
Deputy Chris Beach and Deputy Michael Parsons gave $100 to a single mother of a special needs child and her parents they met during a call a few months ago.
“She was very happy to receive the money,” Beach said. “She lives in a trailer with her parents who try to support her but her mother had recently lost her job and things are tough right now. She and her mother cried.”
Parsons said the mother and her parents were very grateful and emotional.
“From what I understood, the money was going to allow them to provide a decent Christmas for the 9-year-old,” Parsons said.
K9 Deputy Richard Tidwell surprised a single mother who works at a convenience store where he stops for coffee. She always asks about bloodhound, Fred.
She works three jobs to support her child who is cared for by her mother.
“Don’t spend this on a bill,” Tidwell told her. “’Spend it for something for you and your kid. This is a gift for you.’ She was very appreciative.”
Deputy Sean White donated the money to a Waffle House server who had recently bought a used car and it had some unexpected mechanical trouble.
Sgt. Richard Pedigo gifted a woman who works at Lascassas store.
“She has no money and tries to work all the time and has trouble getting by,” Pedigo said. “I just wanted to make sure the money went to the right person in need.”
Deputy Jimmy Tedder donated to a single mother of four children who works at a convenience store.
“I thought she could use the money to make Christmas brighter for her children in the middle of a rough time,” Tedder said.
Deputy Caleb Reynolds save the money to the father of a 20-month-old son who said it was going to be a better Christmas.
Deputy Aaron Price stopped to help a veteran who ran out of gas. The veteran served in the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps.
Price asked the veteran if he was ready for Christmas. The veteran replied he cares for his 90-year-old mother and money is tight. Price gave him the $100 bill and said he hoped it helped.
“He was very grateful,” Price said. “He shook my hand and said he would hug me. I smiled and said, ‘It’s all good’ and we shook hands again.”
Secret Santa said he was inspired by the passage of Leviticus 23: 22: ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.’”