EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – “Hi! It’s your old buddy Pete!” Those were the first words in a phone call to the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center just at 9:45 a.m. on December 5.
Officials say it was a beloved anonymous benefactor who calls himself “Pete” and has now made 42 generous donations to Easterseals since 1990. Pete said that he had just delivered a gift, and told Easterseals staff to hurry and look for his donation outside the nonprofit organization’s headquarters.
A news release says a group of staff members followed Pete’s directions and found a festive gift bag. Inside was a holiday decoration – a red truck with Christmas decorations in the bed and bulbs that light. Tucked under the décor in the truck bed was a total donation of $3,000.
Easterseals says Pete stressed that his donation should be used to provide gifts to children with disabilities from disadvantaged families served by the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center and Easterseals Early Learning Center. Now the organization’s therapists, teachers, and other staff will gladly act as Pete’s elves, purchasing and delivering presents from Pete for young clients and their siblings who would otherwise have a meager holiday.
The news release says Easterseals employees do not know the identity of their mysterious gift-giver, who has always referred to himself as “Pete.” Including this most recent delivery, Pete’s contributions over the past 32 years now total $103,450. All of Pete’s contributions have been designated to fill the needs of local children with disabilities.
Officials say this “secret Santa’s” donations have always arrived in the form of hundred-dollar bills delivered in fun, creative ways. As usual, accompanying Pete’s latest delivery was a hand-written note with the words “You will hear from me again. Pete.”