‘Secret Santa’ pays lunch debts for elementary students in Easley

Forest Acres Elementary School principal Principal Darian Byrd with lunch room staff. (Photo courtesy Pickens County School District)

EASLEY, SC (WSPA) – For some, it’s better than any present under a tree.  It”s a child not having to worry about if they can afford to eat at school that day.

A Secret Santa paid off all the debts from lunch accounts for students at Forest Acres Elementary School.

Principal Darian Byrd said nearly 100 students had debts in their accounts for lunch and many of their families were unable to pay the bill.

“Students just accrue these balances that families cannot afford to pay off.”

Byrd explained that someone called him last week and wanted to help.

“I explained to them that for some of our students, the only two meals they get a day are when they’re here at school,” said Byrd. “Secret Santa said ‘I want to take care of every single one of them.'”

7 News was told Thursday that the donor wishes to stay anonymous, but has been called Secret Santa by many.

The Secret Santa said they would pay off every account. A $1,000 check was given to the school on McAlister Road on Wednesday, paying off all accounts.

“No questions asked,” said Byrd.

“I was completely shocked that we were so blessed to have someone in the community that was willing to do that for the kids at Forest Acres,” said Ashlee Reeves, a parent of two at the elementary school.

Although though Secret Santa didn’t want recognition, that person did have one request in return.

Secret Santa’s asking all parents to pay it forward.

Not with cash, but with kindness.

“Just find some way to pay it forward and teach your children that it’s more special to give, than it is to receive around the holidays,” said Byrd.