Posted: Dec. 5, 2012 10:57 pm Updated: Dec. 19, 2012 11:15 pm

The Quincy Herald-Whig is proud to present this special project to honor members of our local communities who make a difference as volunteers.

It takes a special combination of people of all ages to make a difference in any community, and this is an opportunity to honor special people whose contributions are exceptional.

The Herald-Whig asked for nominations from readers in its circulation area as to who they thought were worthy of being named a "Secret Santa" because they have given hours of their time to benefit worthy causes and organizations, both those that are Christmas-themed and those that operate throughout the year.

The final group was selected from those recipients.

These "Secret Santas" represent some of the finest people this area has to offer. Their selflessness has helped benefit such programs as the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Altrusa and Quanada, while others have helped raise money and awareness for the Girl Scouts, a skate park and the Good News of Christmas campaign.

All of these people have unique stories as to how they got involved with volunteering and why they continue to do so. You'll read about what they do, who has influenced them and what they still hope to accomplish.

Please take a moment to read about those individuals who are working to make a difference in our region, especially during the holidays.