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Anonymous woman donates $17,500 to pay off Tennesseans’ utility bills

A woman, known only as “Miss Santa,” donated more than $17,000 to pay off utility bills for dozens of people and families in Gallatin, Tennessee.
(Carly Miller)
Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 9:51 PM EST
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GALLATIN, Tenn. (WVLT/WTVF) - A woman, known only as “Miss Santa,” donated more than $17,000 to pay off utility bills for dozens of people and families in Gallatin, Tennessee.

WTVF reported that the woman was inspired after seeing a news story on TV of someone who had done something similar. She contacted Gallatin’s mayor Page Brown.

“I said, ‘I just saw this cool thing on TV. What do you think?’ Well, immediately she started to get a hold of her department heads to see what the need was. How much the need was,” said the secret Santa.

Gallatin came back with more than 60 names of people who had their gas or water turned off and told the donor it would take about $7,500 to get them all back up and running. She donated that $7,500 to the city.

“[Mayor Brown] said, most of these were between 50 and 100 dollars. I’m thinking, geez, 50 to 100 dollars and you’re going to have your heat cut off? That’s just crazy. It seemed like the right thing to do,” said the donor.

WTVF reported that public utilities were able to identify the need within a day; however, electric took a bit longer, and the next week, Miss Santa donated an additional $10,000.

“They were either single families or they were on a set income. They probably, lots of people have medical bills now. This COVID crisis has affected a lot of people. Our disparity between the haves and the have nots seems to be growing wider and wider all the time,” she said.

The donor said she hoped the gesture will be noticed by others in a position to give and will spark goodwill.

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