Real Life Secret Santa Helps Those in Need [VIDEO]

In Life by Wendy Michaels , on Tuesday, December 06, 2011, 1:05 PM (PST)
Secret Santa's random acts of kindness


Anonymous Secret Santa Gives Out $100 Bills

Random acts of kindness rock.

Especially around the holidays, it's nice to see people share the wealth and spread good cheer.

Check out this real life secret Santa, who travels to different cities giving away money to those in need.

This year, the anonymous businessman visited Reading, Pennsylvania, one of the country's poorest cities, to hand out $100 bills as a "Secret Santa."

The Secret Santa visited the local thrift store, bus terminal, Salvation Army, a laundromat and other locations to dole out his generous offer.

The reactions in the video are overwhelming.

Thomas Coates, Jr., a man in the Reading Inter-City Bus Terminal who is out of work, was overcome with emotion when the generous stranger gave him two $100 bills.

Read: How Paul Mitchell Plans to Feed the Hungry

Coates openly cried, saying, "I was brought up to believe that you take care of your family, but I can't find a job. This man said to me, 'You're a good man,' and it felt good to hear that."


In total, the Secret Santa gave out an estimated $20,000 of $100 bills stamped "Secret Santa."

He shared, "Cities like Reading are experiencing tough economic times. It's time for us to step up, not step back."

Read: Angelina Jolie's Humanitarian Efforts

This tradition was originally started by Larry Stewart in Kansas City, who had received a handout from the owner of the Dixie Diner in Houston, Mississippi.

Stewart went on to make millions in cable TV -- then he paid it forward for over 25 years until his death in 2006, giving away $1.3 million over that time.

The current Secret Santa said, "I promised him on his deathbed that I would continue the tradition of Secret Santa."

He plans to visit other cities in the coming weeks, with help from elves Dick Butkus and Larry the Cable Guy.

His message of generosity is simple, as he just asks recipients to "do something nice for somebody else" in return.

One woman with six children was lucky enough to get $600 from the Secret Santa, with her 9-year-old son noting, "I think we will have a happy Christmas."




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