The grade school principal had tears in her eyes.
Here was a man, and his wife, handing her a check to pay off the overdue school lunch accounts of more than 40 of her students.
One family owed more than $400.
The man wiped the slate clean, handing Pennsylvania principal Amy Larcinese a check for nearly $1,000 to pay off those accounts last week.
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But he doesn’t want anyone to know who he is.
“I told him, ‘Words can’t describe what my feelings are,’ ” Larcinese told the Tribune-Review in Pittsburgh.
“It’s just good to know there are so many good people out there who are willing to sacrifice to help others.”
Larcinese oversees more than 300 kindergarteners through fourth-graders at H.W. Good Elementary in Herminie, where for “some our kids the only meal they get are the two they get in school,” she told KDKA in Pittsburgh.
“I know that it’s not that they don’t want to pay their account balances, they just can’t afford to do it right now.”
Nearly half of the school’s students qualify for free or reduced lunches, according to the Tribune-Review. For other students, parents pay into a monthly account to cover their children’s meals, but no child is denied food based on the status of those accounts, Larcinese told the newspaper.
The Secret Santa’s gift paid off overdue balances for 44 students and covered the cost of one student’s meals for the rest of the month.
The man and his wife said they live in the school district and that their daughter graduated from high school there in the 1980s.
They had heard about a Secret Santa performing a similar act of kindness in another school district and decided to pay it back closer to home.
“I’ve been in education 16 years,” Larcinese told the Tribune-Review, “and I’ve never had someone go so far to help so many families at the holidays.”