Palmetto employees help with Secret Santa

Published 10:39 am Monday, November 29, 2010

It’s been a tradition for the past 15 years to help out the children in Lawrence and Scioto counties at Christmas time. That is what the staff at Palmetto GBA, based in Wheelersburg, has always done.

With employees who live in both of the counties, helping out their neighbors just seemed like the right thing to do. That’s what Joni Richards of Palmetto, a company that works with Medicare clients, says about her co-workers.

So when the Lawrence County Young Professionals took over the Secret Santa, the staff at Palmetto joined in.

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“We have a heart-warming tree in the office and put the names of the children on the tree,” Richards said. “Everybody takes a name and everybody gift wraps the presents and brings them back.”

Last Christmas, Palmetto employees provided gifts for 50 children.

“We got bikes, whatever was on their lists,” Richards said. “They had to bring two trucks to pick it up.”

This season the need is even greater than last, Casey Baker of the Young Professionals said. Right now requests are almost doubled over last Christmas. Almost 700 children need help, most often with basic items like warm winter clothing.

That’s why The Tribune is publishing its Season of Giving series to showcase those in the community reaching out to make Christmas brighter for others. And The Tribune is also showing how great the need is by publishing the stories of those asking for help from Secret Santa.

Those who want to help the program can do so by sending their checks of any amount they wish made out to the LEDC Secret Santa and mail them to the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce office, P.O. Box 488, South Point, OH 45680.

Or they can also help out by sponsoring some children by contacting Casey Baker of the program at 304-691-8410 or emailing at

“This is important to me,” Richards said. “I have grandkids and I can’t imagine waking up Christmas morning and not having a gift. There is a lot of need out there.

“I hope we can be involved with the Secret Santa every year. That would be our wish.”