What she found caused her to break down into tears.

The blink of an eye: That’s how fast life as you know everything can change.

On Labor Day, Sierra’s husband, William, passed away suddenly. One moment he was going down a waterslide laughing, the next moment he suffered cardiac arrest and drowned.

How a Family’s Life Changed in an Instant

black and white photo of a man and woman
Screenshot/East Idaho News

The grieving mother was left to raise their four children, all under the age of 12, by herself.

Before William died, he was renovating the basement. It sat unfinished for a while and then Sierra and her family were starting to work on it when Secret Santa showed up.

Secret Santa is a local good Samaritan whose mission is to share his wealth with deserving people.

Nate Eaton, a news director of East Idaho News, is the face of operation Secret Santa, and he is the only person who knows Secret Santa’s identity.

Sierra and her children were one of the lucky families to receive a gift from Secret Santa.

Eaton and two Santa aides knocked on her door, but no one was home. After a few hours, they got a text from her neighbor telling Eaton that Sierra was home and they returned.

How a Widowed Mom and Her Children Were Surprised by ‘Secret Santa’

woman wearing a light blue hoodie
Screenshot/East Idaho News

Eaton asked how they were doing.

“We’re surviving. We’re taking it a day at a time. But we’re doing okay,” Sierra replied getting teary-eyed as she spoke.

“We want to give you this gift from an anonymous person who heard that you might need some things,” Eaton told her.

Eaton handed her a $5,000 gift certificate for Ashley’s Furniture and Sierra said she will use the money to furnish the basement when it’s completed. She told Eaton that her husband had been working on the basement before he passed away suddenly and now family members were pitching in to help with the home renovation.

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“Do you want to come and open a present? We have one more gift for you,” Eaton asked one of Sierra’s children.

She came to the door and Eaton handed her a second gift. She opened the red box and handed a check to her mother. Secret Santa also gifted her $20,000 to help finish the basement or to use for any other project.

Upon seeing the check, Sierra started crying and thanked Eaton.

“Good luck. We hope that the basement gets finished and that your kids are doing well and we wish you all the best. Merry Christmas,” Eaton said before asking if he could give her a hug.

Sierra and her family are just one of the families touched by the kindness of this good Samaritan who just wants to help deserving people with no recognition.

Families across the Eastern Idaho region have been fortunate to be the recipients of gifts from the mysterious and generous Secret Santa for over six years.

True holiday spirit!


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