Deputies serve as secret santas

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

COUNTY — Pickens County sheriff’s deputies took on a new role in the leadup to Christmas last week — secret Santas.

Sheriff Rick Clark said a man contacted him about giving to the community at Christmastime.

“He wanted to give 50 $100 bills to people across Pickens County who were in need,” Clark said.

The donor wished to remain anonymous.

He set only two criteria for the $5,000 donation: That the money be given to those in need and that recipients be told a Bible verse — Isiah 40:31.

The verse reads, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

“For people to think about as they move ahead in their lives,” Clark said.

Deputies distributed the money over a few days, Clark said Friday morning.

“It’s helping people who maybe weren’t gonna have a Christmas,” he said. “It’s helping some people pay power bills.”

The donor saw the project as a chance to highlight the work of law enforcement, Clark said.

“He saw the good things we do across Pickens County and that law enforcement does across the country,” he said. “He supported law enforcement and wanted to help people at the same time. It was the perfect scenario.

“He knew that we would know which families really needed something just by our day-to-day activity in the community.”

Clark was with deputies distributing the money Thursday.

“There were tears and happiness and joy and everything else,” Clark said.

His deputies have enjoyed playing Santa.

“They’ve been excited about it,” he said. “All my officers really care about what they’re doing. They’re just like everybody else — it makes them feel really good to help others. It’s been a good thing.”