WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI)- What started out as a feel good holiday story ends in heartbreak. A woman who brought joy to hundreds of children in West Point is hanging up her Secret Santa hat.
Darlene Cox says she still loves West Point, but the actions of an unruly crowd at this year’s gift giveaway hurt her Christmas spirit. Cox says she is stepping down as the organizer of the Secret Santa giveaway in West Point. The decision came after a crowd stormed the stage at this year’s event, stealing gifts from three needy families.
“It had to be about 600 to 700 people. Then they said it was more people outside. I had never seen so many people in my life,” says Cox.
Cox did not have enough gifts for everyone in the crowd. That’s when the situation took a dangerous turn.
“It got so packed. It literally just got completely out of hand,” says Cox.
Cox was stunned to see children grabbing gifts.
“The parents encouraged them to start taking things off the stage. And that’s when it really got out of hand,” says Cox.
With her still recovering from a car accident earlier in the month, she felt helpless against the unruly mob.
“I couldn’t literally run to stop them so I was hollering on the mic to tell them to stop stealing,” says Cox.
Darlene feels like a part of the community that she has devoted so much time to..has taken advantage of her generosity.
“West Point did me like this? And I had sat on community councils for them. No ma’am. I’m not going to do it anymore. No!”I walked around with an elf outfit for 8 years, for their children. And I haven’t seen my children. No more Secret Santa. No more Secret Santa,” says Cox.
No word on if charges will be pursued.
Darlene hopes that other members of the West Point community help her replace the gifts intended for needy families in the area.