Secret Santas spread holiday cheer

Some acts of kindness in Pittsburgh this year all started with a Christmas tree last year that didn’t have ornaments, but instead was decorated with hats, gloves and scarves for the homeless.That simple gesture from a Secret Santa is causing a ripple effect in the city this year.Woody Gibbs, who lives at the Pleasant Valley Shelter on the North Side of Pittsburgh, is part of a wave of Christmas compassion.Gibbs said, “It’s always the right time, when you are giving.”When Gibbs was asked if he wanted a gift from one of several secret Santas in the city, Gibbs didn’t want to keep the present for himself.Instead, he paid it forward.Gibbs said, “I thought it would be beneficial to give a donation to the pantry. They can always use the money and they serve a lot of people.” That’s when the spirit of the holidays snowballed.The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh heard about Gibbs wish to the Northside Common Ministries Food Pantry and wanted to help.Todd Brinkman of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh said, “When we got a chance to meet with Woody and be able to hear his story and how it happened everybody jumped in and said let’s make this a special Christmas.”Members of the YMCA asked for donations, which totaled $1,200.They were able to create gift baskets for the men at the shelter.Members delivered them while singing carols on Monday.They also made a special delivery to Gibbs, which was a basket full of items worth $200.Gibbs said, “I thought it was a good idea and I had no idea it would turn into all this.”But how did the YMCA even find out about Gibbs?Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 discovered the same secret Santa who placed a Christmas tree under the 10th Street Bridge, filled with hats and gloves for the homeless last year, was behind it all.The secret Santa put up two trees in the city this year and hopes more people join to help next year.

Some acts of kindness in Pittsburgh this year all started with a Christmas tree last year that didn’t have ornaments, but instead was decorated with hats, gloves and scarves for the homeless.

That simple gesture from a Secret Santa is causing a ripple effect in the city this year.

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Woody Gibbs, who lives at the Pleasant Valley Shelter on the North Side of Pittsburgh, is part of a wave of Christmas compassion.

Gibbs said, “It’s always the right time, when you are giving.”

When Gibbs was asked if he wanted a gift from one of several secret Santas in the city, Gibbs didn’t want to keep the present for himself.

Instead, he paid it forward.

Gibbs said, “I thought it would be beneficial to give a donation to the pantry. They can always use the money and they serve a lot of people.”

That’s when the spirit of the holidays snowballed.

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh heard about Gibbs wish to the Northside Common Ministries Food Pantry and wanted to help.

Todd Brinkman of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh said, “When we got a chance to meet with Woody and be able to hear his story and how it happened everybody jumped in and said let’s make this a special Christmas.”

Members of the YMCA asked for donations, which totaled $1,200.

They were able to create gift baskets for the men at the shelter.

Members delivered them while singing carols on Monday.

They also made a special delivery to Gibbs, which was a basket full of items worth $200.

Gibbs said, “I thought it was a good idea and I had no idea it would turn into all this.”

But how did the YMCA even find out about Gibbs?

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 discovered the same secret Santa who placed a Christmas tree under the 10th Street Bridge, filled with hats and gloves for the homeless last year, was behind it all.

The secret Santa put up two trees in the city this year and hopes more people join to help next year.