Taking Money from Strangers – Giving Money to Strangers
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
The Secret Santa Concept – Random Acts of Kindness that can change lives
I remember seeing a news show on “Secret Santa” years ago. He was this rich fella who gave away money to strangers. He’d just walk around, looking for someone who seemed down on their luck, and he’d gift them. He gave away over a million dollars in his lifetime and became known as “Secret Santa”.
I was happy to see that, on the death of this inspirational soul, a friend has stepped in to keep up the tradition. This man plans to give away $75,000 a year, to those in need.
I’m inspired by this, not just during the Christmas season but by the further news that several large companies are working with this man, to become Secret Santa’s in their own towns. Wow, what if that caught on.
I live in a reality that says I create, and co-create my own experience here. There have been times when I created poverty. I well remember my own secret santa’s. Those who recognized something in me worth investment.
I also remember a time when my mom and stepdad were traveling back and forth to the hospital to see my stepdad’s daughter, who had to have a bone marrow transplant. They were completely broke, financially, barely having the money for gas.
They were driving home when the car behind them flagged them down.
My stepdad got out of the car and went to see what the man needed. He came back with a strange look on his face. Mom asked him what was wrong. He opened his fist and showed her a hundred dollar bill. He said the man was instructed by God to give it to them.
I also remember a friend of mine telling me about her secret santa moment. She was driving to work one day and noticed a woman walking, up ahead. There was a cement retainer wall on that side, where construction was taking place, and the woman had to jump up on the wall to avoid getting hit by oncoming traffic.
My friend pulled off the side of the road and asked the woman if she needed a ride. Once in the car, the woman told my friend that she was walking to work, as she had done for three weeks since her car broke down. Work was about 5 miles away.
My friend asked her what was wrong with her car and heard that it would take $200 to fix it. She asked where the car was, drove the woman directly to the car, paid the $200 to fix it and took the woman to work. Wow, now that’s a secret santa moment that lady will never forget.
My friend was also on her way to work. She could easily have justified not stopping and certainly not taking all the extra time to help this single mother in distress. Thank God for people with the heart to respond in the moment. Thank you Kathy for your good heart.
Secret Santa. I’ve done it too, in my way. Sometimes, I did it unclearly, out of motives that were guilt-driven but other times, it’s been an inspirational burst of awareness that has let me know I should gift, and whom I should gift.
I want always to be open to gifting clearly, as guided and as opportunity presents itself, with no expectation of return. That’s Secret Santa at it’s best.