Secret Santa's anonymous £1,000 donation to Children on the Edge

One man with a heart of gold is now fondly being referred to as Chichester's '˜Secret Santa' after walking into a city-centre store and donating £1,000 to charity.

Saturday, 27th November 2010, 6:26 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 7:00 pm

The shopper, who wants to remain anonymous, handed over the cheque for Children on the Edge when buying a paper bag at Montezuma’s in East Street, which supports the charity.

Customers can donate money to the charity when buying bags at the chocolate store.

“I’m glad I was sitting down when I heard the news of this amazing donation,” said Ben Wilkes, head of fundraising and communications at Children on the Edge.

“It is the generosity of our supporters, like everyone at Montezuma’s and especially this very kind gentlemen, that enable Children on the Edge to help some of the world’s most marginalised children.

“This is a wonderful Christmas story of overwhelming generosity.”

Montezuma’s has been raising money through various projects during 2010 including a marathon run by co-founder Helen Pattinson and a carrier bag donation scheme in all its stores.

The company decided to implement a donation scheme earlier this year which asks customers to make a donation when they needed to take a carrier bag.

Assistant manager at Montezuma’s Carrie Burton said: “As with all our customers, I explained about Montezuma’s efforts to raise money and a little bit about the school in Burma but when he wrote out a cheque for £1,000 I was completely stunned.

“I said ‘thank you’ several times but didn’t really know how to show our gratitude properly.

“What he did was amazing and we have been smiling all week as a result.”

Montezuma’s is aiming to raise £12,000 this year for Children on the Edge, which will be used to fund a school for Burmese refugee children on the Thai Burma border.

Mrs Pattinson said: “Most customers are more than happy to pop a coin in the Children on the Edge collection box when they know it’s going to a good cause.

“It also reminds people they don’t always need a carrier bag and they decide not to take one, which fits really nicely with our green policy too, so it’s a win-win situation.”

Children on the Edge exists to help the most marginalised and vulnerable children worldwide and bring hope, life, colour and fun into these children’s lives.

It is committed to ensuring their fundamental needs are met and rights realised by partnering grassroots organisations and implementing programmes.