United Way of Southern Nevada – $1 Million Secret Santa Gift Gives 2,000 Families Hope During The Holidays


United Way of Southern Nevada – $1 Million Secret Santa Gift 2,000 Families Hope During The Holidays


United Way of Southern Nevada surprised 2,000 Las Vegas families and military reservists with $500 gift cards on Thursday, Dec. 22, after receiving a $1 million donation from a Secret Santa, a thoughtful gaming executive who wanted to give local families hope and a reason to smile this holiday season.

Families and military reservists were notified that a special gift was waiting for them at specific locations throughout the Las Vegas Valley, when they arrived they were presented with $500 gift cards. Those touched by the Secret Santa gift were brought to tears of joy and surprise.

“Dear Secret Santa, I would like to (give) thanks to you for the big Christmas gift for my family,” said Tony. “This is my biggest gift I’ve ever had in my life. I don’t know what to say beside Thanks, Thanks and Thanks.”

To Sandra the gift meant that her family could pay their utility bills and purchase basic food items. “My husband and my daughter are out of work, so times have been a little rough with only one person working,” said Sandra. “I definitely was not expecting anything, but your gift was not just a gift, but a blessing.”

To some, the gift meant that they could keep a roof over their heads. “Thank you so much for the money, we used it for our rent. We weren’t expecting it. Thanks again, God bless you,” said Flora.

United Way of Southern Nevada was intent on helping those like Tony, Sandra and Flora with their needs and distributed 100 percent of the donation to brighten the holiday season for the recipients. A careful vetting process was put in place to identify the individuals who qualified for the holiday surprise.

Those looking to make a difference in the community can still become a Secret Santa. This holiday season and into the New Year, United Way invites Southern Nevadans to help those in dire need of household items and living essentials. To view videos of families receiving their Secret Santa gifts, please click here or go to For more stories, photos and information, visit or text “Secret” to 545454 to donate.

About United Way of Southern Nevada

United Way collaborates with volunteers, stakeholders and community leaders to uncover key strategies designed to develop community-based solutions to our community’s most pressing health and human service issues. Beyond quick fixes, these strategies are delivering lasting solutions, aligned with benchmarks and achievement standards, to change community conditions. For more information about southern Nevada’s most pressing needs and how United Way’s Community-based Agenda is improving lives, visit and join United Way’s social network.

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