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For second year, Gallatin 'Mrs. Claus' donates to cover neighbors' utilities

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Posted at 6:15 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 19:29:38-05

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the second year in a row, a woman known only as Gallatin's "Mrs. Claus" has ponied up $17,000 to cover overdue utilities for distressed families.

The woman business owner said she has the means to help people, and wants families to have power and heat over the holidays.

NewsChannel5 talked with the donor, who wants to remain anonymous and encourages others to do the same as she has done.

"We've been so fortunate in the middle Tennessee area, Gallatin, Sumner County," Claus said. "To have so much happening and going on that we tend to forget the income disparity is widening. It's not closing up. This to me seems like the best way to help somebody on an individual level. I think most of the bills were around $100 dollars is what they owed."

At least 250 people were helped out between the $17,000 and an additional $3,000 donated by Claus' family members.

One of the people helped is Lisa Harris. She's currently living in a four bedroom house raising her four grand children by herself. Her utility bills can run as high as $240 between water and electricity. She said it's difficult to make it by.

"When I pay my bills, I'm broke," said Harris. "I don't have any more money in my pocket. This gave me some extra money for the holidays that I can get other gifts or get these kids something else."

Harris said she'd love to give Mrs. Claus a big hug for her donation.

"Whoever you are, Mrs. Claus. Thank you, I love you and god bless you," she said.

Others can get involved helping others with their utility bills. Gallatin Public Utility allows customers to add on money to their bill that will be used to help distressed families.