This story of selflessness was started by Secret Santa Larry Stewart, who from 1978 until his death in 2006, would give hundreds of thousands of dollars away every holiday season, usually in $100 bills, to those he deemed needed it the most…or those who went out of their way to be kind.
He was near homeless in ‘71 when he was given a free breakfast at a Mississippi diner…and after he made millions in cable television….he never forgot what a simple breakfast meant to him that day.
In 2007, an anonymous businessman from Kansas has picked-up his friend Larry’s baton.
He visits shelters, laundromats, bus stations etc…and hands out $100,000 every year.
Since 2014, and in the wake of the tension between the public and police since the shooting of Michael Brown, and wanting to in some small way heal that rift, he deputized sheriff’s to hand out money to those that they thought would truly need it….like pulling over people with dented cars.
“That’s where I get so much satisfaction. Because behind every one, there’s a story. And to hear their story, and what a difference that little bit of money at that little point in time makes in their life, gives me an awful lot of joy. So there’s a lot of happiness that comes with this. I get more joy out of it than they do.”
“Anybody can be a Secret Santa. All they have to do is act. And it doesn’t have to be about money. It can be any random act of kindness of any kind.”
From Business Insider..
“Merry Christmas,” one deputy said as he handed money to an individual he had just pulled over.
“You’re kidding. Oh my God, no.”
One driver, Jessica Rodriguez, was moved to tears.”How you doing, m’am?”
“I’m good until you pulled me over.”
“Okay, well, on behalf of Secret Santa, he wants you to have this, OK?” the deputy said. The stunned mother of three expressed her gratitude toward the officer, telling him that she “wasn’t going to be able to get my kids anything” for Christmas.
This year Secret Santa has done something different. He has recruited homeless men and women to be his elves, in nine cities around the country. Giving each between $3,000 and $5,000 dollars with the words, “Bring joy to others as you bring joy to yourself.”
One such elf is Moses Elder, from Phoenix, Arizona.
It doesn’t have to be money.
It can be just a single act of kindness.
“You know, it’s a myth that the homeless just take. From my experience, the people with the least give the most of what they have.
Kindness is a bridge between all people. And so if you’re ever down…and you want to lift yourself up…
….go do something kind for somebody.”