By Alecia Reid
RIDLEY PARK, Pennsylvania (KYW) — A salon shop is spreading holiday joy in Ridley Park. Its Secret Santa campaign is once again brightening the holiday season for its customers.
It all started with Brooke O’Kane, who felt compelled to give back during the holidays.
“While she was checking out, she left a $100 bill and said she wanted to pay for somebody’s hair,” Lux and Roses owner Machele Kortum said.
Three years later, Secret Santa has become a Christmas tradition at Lux and Roses.
“We chose people as they were sitting in my chair, telling me their story or they chose somebody who they thought could use a boost,” Kortum said.
So far this year, more than 22 people have donated more than $1,500 to make someone else’s day brighter.
“Some people donate $10, some people donate $40, some people donate $100,” Kortum said.
Recipients include a cancer patient, single mom, students, a grieving mother who recently lost a son, someone currently down on their luck and one girl who lost both parents on the same day to a drug overdose.
“I felt like Oprah the other day,” Kortum said. “There was a whole bunch of people in here getting Secret Santa, so I was like, ‘you’re Secret Santa, you’re Secret Santa.’”
In addition to clients donating money to help fellow customers, stylists also donate their time to help make the holidays brighter.
“Sometimes we don’t have the money leftover and we still keep doing it,” Kortum said.
Whether leaving it up to the salon to choose, or picking who gets gifted, customers are excited about the tradition.
“I had a single mom. She had three kids and she struggled around the holidays so I like to give back around the holidays wherever I can,” said Lori Menasion, who lives in South Philadelphia.
Kortum keeps the memory of her mom alive. She died a few months after the shop opened in 2018.
“That was her thing. She loved to give,” Kortum said. “She was all about giving more than receiving.”
Those that need it, welcome the help.
“I truthfully almost canceled my appointment because I didn’t want to juggle my kids and money’s tight this time of year always,” said Courtney Spiker, who lives in Rutledge.
For dozens of customers, it will be a very merry Christmas.
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.