Secret Santa Officers Give Out Gifts in Salem Thanks to Generous Donor - NECN


The latest news from around the state

Secret Santa Officers Give Out Gifts in Salem Thanks to Generous Donor

Three dozen officers delivered gifts cards donated by William Burke Jr. Insurance



    Nearly 100 people in Salem, Massachusetts, received a special gift from a secret Santa, one week before Christmas. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016)

    A secret Santa is responsible for donating thousands of dollars to the Salem Police Department in Salem, Massachusetts, one week before Christmas.

    "It's tough being a police officer during the holidays," said Salem Police Detective Lt. Conrad Prosniewski.

    This year that changed with a donation from William Burke of William Burke Jr. Insurance in the amount of $10,000.

    "He wanted to give each police officer a $100 bill to hand out to some of the needy people in Salem," said Prosniewski.

    When a department wide e-mail was sent, 36 officers jumped at the chance to help.

    "They filled out a form explaining why they wanted the money, who it was going to go to and how much," said Prosniewski.

    Families received anywhere between $100 to $500 dollars making Christmas miracles real for them.

    "I've been homeless before and I've gone through that so I know how hard it is," said Desiree Olsen, of Salem. "I wish everybody well."

    Stacia Cooper, also from Salem, said the gesture warmed her heart.

    "They're giving the gift back and paying it forward," she said.

    Nearly 100 people were helped.

    "Approximately 50 families benefited from this, over 90 children and I think there was also a few individuals," said Prosniewski.

    Police said Burke didn't donate the money for the attention, but that the department had to be transparent about where the money came from.

    "He did it because he wanted to help the police integrate with the community more and he hit it out of the park with that one," said Prosniewski.

    Burke said all the money was given in the form of TD Bank cards which were passed out the Thursday and Friday before Christmas.

    Get the latest from necn anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android