As has become a local holiday tradition at San Fernando Elementary School, comedian George Lopez aka “Secret Santa,” comes back to town. Lopez who grew up in Mission Hills and went to the elementary school comes without a public announcement or a gaggle of media behind him. He quietly and personally hands out presents, one at a time to each child. Many of the kids know him more for his annual visits to their school and are unaware of his celebrity status.
Lopez recalls when he was a student at this very school and for the holiday they were taken to the school library. “There was a guy there, he may have given us some kind of little book or something.”
Lopez said he wanted to not only give each child in the whole school a nice toy, and one that they could really enjoy. As he handed out each gift, he said “Merry Christmas and extended his hand to give them each a handshake.
At times, he also gave some of the students a little lesson in manners. If a child walked briskly by, Lopez said, “Wait, a minute… what do you say?” encouraging the kids to say “Thank you.”
The holiday visit is facilitated each year by the George Lopez Foundation that holds various fundraisers to support programs to create change for underprivileged children.