Larry Stewart’s Secret Santa World
Thanks to a reader I found out about a group of Secret Santa’s that anonymously pass out $100 bills to random people during the Christmas season. The group was founded by Larry Stewart who anonymously passed out over a $1 million over 26 years. The Secret Santa organization has continued even after Larry passed away 2 years ago.
According to an article I read about the organization…
“It’s not about the man, it’s not about the money, it’s about the message,” the Kansas City Santa said. “Anyone can be a secret Santa with a kind word, gesture, a helping hand.”
He said the money is given without judgment, but on the condition that the receiver pass along a kindness to someone else. Stewart began his holiday tradition at a restaurant in December 1979, after he had just been fired. He gave a waitress $20 and told her to keep the change and was struck by her gratitude.
The article went on to talk a bit about some of the recipients…
Cynthia Brown, 40, was laid off three weeks ago from her food service job. Santa found her at the St. Louis County health clinic and gave her $100, exactly what she had asked to borrow from her mother a night ago to buy food.
“I have three daughters, and I can’t get unemployment yet. I was down in food,” she said.
Leotta Burbank, 50, of West Frankfurt, Ill., was at a thrift store Friday to buy decorations for her sister-in-law’s room at a St. Louis hospice, where she is dying of pancreatic cancer. When Santa gave her money, Burbank collapsed into his arms and wouldn’t stop hugging him.
“God provides,” she said. “This is real emotional for me.”
Secret Santa World is seeking to expand to every state, but so far there are only 9 members in a few select cities. If you are interested in finding out more or getting involved, I encourage you to check out their website – SecretSantaWorld.net