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Joplin Salvation Army Secret Santa yet to make $50,000 donation - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Salvation Army Secret Santa yet to make $50,000 donation this year

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It's been a holiday mystery in Joplin: Just who is the Secret Santa who drops such large donations in the red kettle buckets?

"We would love to say 'yeah, we can pinpoint right where Secret Santa is and we know who he or she is and we can just go and call them and say 'hey, did you forget?' but the reality is that we don't know," said Jamie.

Captain Jamie Curry and her husband, Captain James Curry, say Secret Santa has made the Joplin donations on various dates throughout the years.

But it's never come this close to Christmas and they're both concerned.  

"That's a lot of money and it help a lot of people and in that it goes a long way for our year round efforts," said James.

"You go down the list of things that could have happened. 'is someone sick in their family, has their been a death in their family?'" said Jamie.

The question "why" is a popular one.

The Joplin Salvation Army has come under scrutiny this past year over allegations that there is still donated money for Joplin recovery efforts that has not been used.

But James says the organization has set aside money for long-term efforts.  

"We worked as hard as we could with the people and families that came to our facilities throughout the time and we really still do."

(stacey) "the Currys say they certainly hope secret santa pays a visit to one of the joplin buckets, just like the one behind me, but incase he or she does, they've already started planning ahead."

"We've already started looking at some scenarios,"says Jamie. "'What can we change?' 'How can we alter things?' 'What do we do in the year ahead?' And we do have to think about that anyway."

"We have to look at our budget and revise it somewhat, but make the most out of the money that comes in still," said James. "And by doing that we become creative in how we do things."

While the Salvation Army hopes Secret Santa plans to still make a Joplin visit this Christmas, in the meantime everyone will have to wait and ask:

"Where's Secret Santa?"

"I don't know yet!" said Jeremy Warner, bell ringer.


The Secret Santa has been known to drop the money in the form of cashiers checks hidden in rolled-up bills. Salvation Army officials say they're grateful for all donations made.


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