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Secret Santa pays off student lunches

School lunch at Forest Acres Elementary School. (December 14, 2017/FOX Carolina) School lunch at Forest Acres Elementary School. (December 14, 2017/FOX Carolina)
PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

There's nothing like a heartwarming act of kindness around Christmas time.

Students at Forest Acre Elementary School in Pickens County received a huge gift this week from their very own Secret Santa!

The school's principal, Darian Byrd, said an anonymous person called the school last week wanting to do something for the students this Christmas. 

Knowing that many of the students struggle to pay for school lunches, he suggested the anonymous caller could pay off a student's lunch tab.

"She asked how many, how many are there," Byrd said. "So we counted just over 100".

What happened next, Byrd says he's never experienced in his 12 years of school administration.

"She said, 'I want to pay them all off,'" Byrd explained.

The lunch tabs range from negative $10 to negative $50.

Byrd said, "This gift put everyone back to 0 and now we have a warm meal for all the students and we are excited to be able to give them that".

He says what he loves most about this particular gift is that it directly affects the students.

"For some students we talk about how this breakfast and lunch may be the only warm meal they receive, and this just nails this to make that happen," Byrd said.

The school's secret Santa dropped off a check earlier this week, clearing everyone's account, just before Christmas.

"This really really helps and we are going to have these students fill these trays up and get them some great meals," Byrd said.

The only footprint their secret Santa left behind was this message: 

"When someone asks, there's nobody to thank, you can thank by paying it forward and doing it for someone else."

Principal Byrd suggested for anyone who wants to do something similar, you could reach out to a local school in your community and talk with teachers and administrators for ideas on how you can best impact schools and students in your community.

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