Kansas family's Christmas tradition is to give gifts to strangers

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -

Santa got a little help in downtown Lawrence from a family handing out bright red gift bags to strangers in a busy shopping area.

Scott Sloyer and his adult children, Tyler and Rachel, hit busy Massachusetts Street on Monday, distributing about 40 bags. Each of them are filled with about $15 worth of useful items, including a blanket, two pairs of socks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and snacks, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

The recipients included a homeless man and street musician who was playing the trombone while dressed as the jolly old elf himself.

“I can use the stuff,” said Gary Woods, who sleeps outside every night. “I have no family, no home, no ID.”

The family began the tradition of handing out gifts to those who may be in need when they lived in St.Louis. They brought the tradition to Lawrence when they moved three years ago.

They didn't seek out any attention; the paper was tipped off to the good Samaritans.

But Scott Sloyer said that if the random acts of kindness encouraged other families to do something similar, he was OK with being noticed.

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