Secret Santa in Idaho Surprises Struggling 65-Year-Old Grandmother With New Car
Diana Boldman — a 65-year-old employee at an Idaho McDonald's — has been using a worn-out van to deliver 150 newspapers on a paper route each morning before starting her shift at the fast-food restaurant.
Though she plans to retire in a few years, Boldman works full-time to support her husband, Cameron, who is on disability, according to East Idaho News. It was her story of perseverance and hard work that resonated with a local Secret Santa, who has surprised Idaho Falls residents with Christmas gifts for the last six years, all while remaining anonymous.
Nate Eaton — a reporter for East Idaho News — has delivered gifts on behalf of the Secret Santa, and he was once again on hand when he surprised Boldman by showing up to her McDonald's last month.
A video posted to the outlet's website shows Eaton handing Boldman a green box with $5,000 worth of gas cards and a $1,000 check. While Boldman seemed delighted with the gifts, that wasn't all — Eaton then handed her the keys to a brand-new car.
The two walked outside and Boldman saw her new Hyundai Tucson for the first time. The SUV will replace her van, which has more than 200,000 miles on it.
"My car keys are smarter than me!" Boldman told the outlet with a laugh after fumbling while trying to unlock the door.
After sitting inside and familiarizing herself with the new scenery, Boldman expressed her gratitude to the Secret Santa.
"Tell the Secret Santa: thank you ever so much," she said.
Eaton told TODAY that the Secret Santa gave out $500,000 worth of gifts in 2019, and plans to give out even more this year. Recipients are usually nominated by people in the community.
"These are generally people who never ask for help. They’re humble," Eaton told TODAY. "They’re not asking for handouts or assistance."
In 2017, the Secret Santa in question gifted $10,000 to the family of a father of four who had been diagnosed with ALS, PEOPLE previously reported. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a rare and incurable progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
That same year, the Secret Santa gave out $200,000 worth of holiday gifts to residents in Idaho Falls.
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