Christmas came early for a number of lucky people in New Philadelphia recently. With several envelopes in his hand, a man entered the Goodwill store on Bluebell Drive and performed a random act of kindness.
Christmas came early for a number of lucky people in New Philadelphia recently.
With several envelopes in his hand, a man entered the Goodwill store on Bluebell Drive and performed a random act of kindness.
Celine Heter, of Strasburg, and her boyfriend, Zach Moser, were shopping at the Goodwill store Dec. 14 when the mysterious man arrived.
While she was browsing Christmas sweaters, Heter said the unidentified man approached her, handed her one of the many envelopes he was carrying and told her "Merry Christmas, ma'am."
Heter cautiously took the envelope from the stranger, thanked him and returned the Christmas greeting.
"It was literally a shock for the first few seconds," Heter said when she opened the envelope, which contained a Christmas card with a $50 bill inside. "It happened so quick."
Moser, who was shopping on the other side of the store, also received an envelope with a card that contained the same amount.
With their combined money, Heter said, she and Moser immediately decided they will offer their gift to people who are less fortunate than they are.
"We want to do something with ours, because other people need it more than we do," Heter said. "To me, it was an incredible thing. I don't need $50, but you can't help but feel good about it."
Marisa Rohn, Goodwill vice president of marketing and development, said this isn't the first time a Goodwill store has experienced the generosity of good Samaritans, and added that she was happy the man chose the New Philadelphia location.
"We are thrilled," Rohn said. "It was a random act of kindness and it was a feel-good moment. He's just kind of a secret Santa, so to speak."
Unsure of the exact number of envelopes the secret Santa carried with him, Rohn mentioned that he possessed "quite a few."
Rohn also commented that the secret Santa left the store just as quickly and mysteriously as he entered.
Heter agreed. And because of his stealth, Heter said, she and Moser were unable to personally thank the secret Santa for his gesture.
"I wanted to go find that guy and give him a hug," Heter said. "I want him to see the gratitude. It's amazing to know there are people out there who still do that."
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