ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Do you believe in Santa Claus? You should because he recently flew his sleigh across the country and landed in the Capital Region.
His mission was top secret, and he could only bring one reporter along for the ride – NEWS10 ABC’s John Gray.
Cops came with their sirens blaring to investigate an unusual robbery. The item missing was hope. To get it back: Operation Sleigh Ride.
“I’ve had many officers tell me that it’s the best day of their career.”
Orchestrated by a mystery man in a red cap, he armed the cops with $100 bills. They then drove to the hardest parts of town and targeted the gentlest of souls. Suspects who absolutely had it coming.
“What I do is look for sadness,” he said.
When he finds it, he says the three magic words, “I’m Secret Santa.”
Every year, the anonymous businessman travels the country and hands out hundreds and hugs. And every year, they can’t believe someone cares.
NEWS10 saw a man speeding on his scooter, and a man at a laundromat with just $8 to his name.
Yet for all the joy in receiving, there were also people who only know how to give.
“Can I donate it?”
Santa’s helpers felt the love but none more than Officer Sadaka Kitony. He helped a woman with five grandkids and no money for presents.
“Crying, absolutely. God bless you.”
Everywhere they went, sadness was washed away by kindness.
“I’m definitely going to do something good with this.”
And promises to pay it forward.
The Sleigh Ride landed at a school where Santa shared a secret. Every child would get $20 so they could help others.
This past year has been a tough one in the U.S. We haven’t always gotten along the way we should. But the images and moments of Secret Santa remind us that we’re better than that. And you don’t need a red cap and money to change a life.
“Albany can light up the world with random acts of kindess, so make this Christmas magical in a way it otherwise wouldn’t be.”