Secret Santa From Missouri Hands Out $100 Bills To Hurricane Sandy Victims

Winter chill is setting in across our fair land, so how’s about a little warming of the old blood pump? Here you go: A philanthropist from Missouri has popped up as a Secret Santa of sorts on the East Coast, and has been handing out $100 bills to victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey. Don’t fight it, just feel the goodwill spread. Ahh, there it is.

The Associated Press says this cash handout is part of his goal to give away $100,000 this holiday season. He spent the day pressing bills on those who need it most after Hurricane Sandy ravaged their homes and changed their lives, but he insists it’s not just about spreading money around.

“The money is not the point at all,” said the anonymous benefactor yesterday, in the midst of surprising Staten Island residents with free money.  “It’s about the random acts of kindness. I’m just setting an example, and if 10% of the people who see me emulate what I’m doing, anybody can be a Secret Santa!”

The man was accompanied by a police motorcade and he was carefully watched by cops during his quest. At one point, he stopped at a disaster center for victims of Sandy, asking a 72-year-old woman if anyone had given her money. When she replied “No,” he gave her $100, stamped in red with “Secret Santa.”

“But this isn’t real money!” she exclaimed, to which he responded, “It is, and it’s for you.”

He says he took up the project to honor his late friend, who used to hand out bills each December to unsuspecting strangers in their hometown of Kansas City. That man died in 2007 after giving away more than $1 million, mostly in $100 bills. This new Secret Santa insists on remaining anonymous, adding, “And I hope I give all my money away before I die.”

That welling you feel in your heart? We’re right there with you.

Mysterious ‘Secret Santa’ hands out $100 bills to Hurricane Sandy victims in New York, New Jersey [Associated Press]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.