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'Everybody here was just appreciative': Baldwin County deputies get anonymous $200 gift

"When you wake up in the morning, you know you're appreciated and you make a difference,” Ernesto Lopez says.

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — Here's someone paying it forward to their community. Recently, an anonymous donor gave $200 to all 48 deputies at the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, and none of them were expecting it. It all added up to just under $10,000.

We went to see their reactions and who helped the mystery man carry out his plan.

"When you wake up in the morning, you know you're appreciated and you make a difference,” Ernesto Lopez says.

Lopez has been a deputy at the Baldwin County Sheriff's office for 10 years and he thinks it's the best job out there. 

"There's always ups and downs, but at the end of the day, you feel that you make a change,” he says. 

Ernesto had taken some time off, so when he arrived back at the office, he was given an envelope.

"I thought it was something small. Usually, we get Chick-fil-A gift cards, you know-- just something small -- but when I saw it, I was surprised. I wasn't expecting something like that,” he says. 

Lopez says that the money goes a long way. He says it'll go toward paying the bills, groceries, and gas. 

Deputy Reid White has been with the department for eight years. He's never received anything like it before. 

"When somebody gives you any kind of recognition or a gift, or says 'Thank you,' or anything like that, to receive an amount of money as large as this, it was just really cool,” he says. “Everybody here was just appreciative of that gift,” Lopez says. 

Tori Kala, assistant vice president of Century Bank and Trust in Milledgeville helped the anonymous man carry out his plan. 

"I fixed each envelope up, put a sweet little saying in it that he wanted it to say, write their names on it, and deliver it to the sheriff's department,” she says. 

Kala says this plan has been in the works for the past four months. She says the donor is a man with a heart of gold who has his mind set on giving back.

"He said, 'You know what? Law enforcement needs it for what they do. They protect us.' He wanted to thank them for their service and protecting us,” Kala says. 

Sheriff Bill Massee says he knows who the donor is, but his lips are sealed. Massee says the whole office appreciates the donation and thanks the person who gave it to them.

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