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Ovation: Secret Santa Gives Hundred-Dollar Bills To Victims Of Hurricane Sandy.


SecretSantaOne time we were waiting in line at McDonald’s behind a young man with a big genuine smile wearing ill-fitting clothes and looking like he was “down on his luck”.  He ordered a hamburger from the Dollar Menu and a glass of water while explaining to the cashier that he was just passing through.  He had a duffle bag and a backpack and he had claimed a table in the restaurant by the window.  We finished our meal and, as we were leaving, noticed that he had gone back to the counter to ask for ketchup or more water leaving his things unattended.

For years, in my wallet, I’ve carried a “hidden twenty”.  I find a bit of security in knowing that I always have a little cash with me when I’m out and about.  On that afternoon, I pulled a twenty-dollar bill from my wallet and set it on that man’s table as I passed on my way to the exit.  I watched from the parking lot as he returned to find the cash surprise on his table.  He picked it up, looked around hoping to learn who had left him the gift, gazed upward and smiled his huge smile before sitting down to finish his meal.

Being fortunate enough to give twenty dollars to that stranger brought a warmth to my heart like no other.

I understand why a wealthy Missouri man posing as “Secret Santa” surprised New Yorkers one day last week by handing out hundred-dollar bills to random strangers in Staten Island who had lost everything to Hurricane Sandy.  The Kansas City businessman plans to give away $100,000 this holiday season and he spent a day in New Jersey and New York giving away thousands of dollars.

‘It’s about the random acts of kindness.  I’m just setting an example, and if ten per cent of the people who see me emulate what I’m doing, anybody can be a Secret Santa!’ – Anonymous

Escorted by a police motorcade, the Secret Santa passed a church ripped from its foundations and homes surrounded by debris.  At a disaster relief center run by volunteers, he gave a retiree living in a damaged home one of the hundred dollars bills.  She didn’t believe it was real but, when he convinced her that it was, she broke down in tears and gave him a hug.

Knowing the feeling of warmth and satisfaction that I felt after sharing twenty dollars, I can only imagine how wonderful it would be to give away cash to those clearly in need.  I like to think that, should I find myself financially able, I would regularly share my good fortune.

It’s too bad those people in Arizona and Missouri got my Powerball money or I’d be able to give out hundred-dollar bills this Christmas, too.


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Copyright © 2012

From → Ovations

  1. Good post. Donations like this in times of crisis are very meaningful. There are silver linings to Hurricane Sandy and that is showing what is truly important and bringing out the best in people to help. Well done. BTG


  2. I love these kinds of random acts of kindness.


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