deputy and secret santa pass out money

Cherita Horne worried about how to pay for her 5-year-old daughter’s medicine.

Meanwhile, Deputy Gary Herron searched for someone to gift $100 from Secret Santa who accompanied him in the patrol car.

Secret Santa and Mrs. Claus gave deputies $3,000 to pass out last Christmas. This year, Secret Santa said he and his wife were blessed so they doubled the donation. Sixty deputies distributed the $100 bills to 60 surprised recipients.

Herron spotted Horne’s car and told Secret Santa, “This is the car. I know this is the car.”

The deputy turned on the blue lights while Horne worried about why the deputy stopped her.

Herron explained Secret Santa gave him $100 to give to someone for Christmas.

“I hope this helps you,” Herron told Horne as he handed her the $100 bill. “It’s a joy to us.”

Tears streamed down Horne’s cheeks when she explained how she needed to buy her daughter’s medicine.

“I’ve had a really terrible day,” Horne told Herron, explaining her daughter’s father owed $9,500 in back child support. The lack of child support financially forced her to leave Murfreesboro and return home to Evansville, Ind., where her mother helps care for her daughter.

Horne is a full-time student working on a degree in social work and works part-time. She used the last of her paycheck to drive to a Rutherford County court for a child support hearing with the father who is in jail.

The father plans to move to another state so she fears not getting any child support from him.

“It was just a bad day,” Horne told Herron. “This made my day.”

The unexpected gift eased her burden.

“I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Horne said as she smiled through the tears. “I thank all of you.”

Horne has never been stopped before. Referring to the reason for the traffic stop, she said, “God has a good sense of humor.

“This was God’s work in the making,” Horne said. “He came out of nowhere.”

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