What happens when Santa gives $100 to needy strangers?

For some, it’s a gift of hope and an answered prayer.  From the Reading Eagle in Pennsylvania:

Sitting in Reading’s Inter-City Bus Terminal on Tuesday night, Thomas Coates Jr. was out of work and out of hope.

Then, out of the blue, a stranger sat next to him and restored his faith in human kindness.

Identifying himself only as Secret Santa, the stranger handed Coates two crisp $100 bills and wished him a Merry Christmas.

Coates, 36, who lives in Pottstown with his girlfriend and son, wept.

“I was brought up to believe that you take care of your family, but I can’t find a job,” said Coates, burying his face in his hands. “This man said to me, ‘You’re a good man,’ and it felt good to hear that.”

The bus terminal was only one stop on a whirlwind tour of downtown Reading and beyond, where Secret Santa handed $100 bills to people he felt needed a helping hand at Christmastime.

In all, he gave away an estimated $20,000 of his own money, mostly in $100 bills stamped “Secret Santa” in red.

He had read of Reading being designated America’s poorest city with a population of 65,000 or more.

“Cities like Reading are experiencing tough economic times,” Secret Santa said. “It’s time for us to step up, not step back.”

In the video below, follow the Secret Santa  as he makes his rounds.

YouTube Preview Image

  • Notgiven

    Here are some other ways:
    * We all know people in our parishes, and other places, that are in need. Put cash (or gift cards) in the mail to them anonymously. Make sure you use an envelope that no one can see through…and send it to them “in the name of Jesus.” You will not have the satisfaction of seeing their reaction. But, it will help them out with no strings attached (make sure you write that there are no strings attached).
    * Send stamps in the mail so others can send in bill payments or send out Christmas cards.
    * Pay a bill for someone.
    * Help the poverty of the isolated
    –call those who are home bound and have a nice talk with them, better yet, visit them.
    –bring cookies to those who are home bound
    –shovel the driveway of someone who can’t…or someone who can, that could use a lift!
    –convert someone’s Christmas card list to labels…in order to make it easier to send out cards
    –some prison ministries would just love to have your extra Christmas cards for the inmates to send out
    –slip an extra gift under the Christmas tree (or just leave it in an unobtrusive place) of those homes you visit and label it “from Santa” (of course, the point here is to make sure you are not caught doing so…and don’t ask them about it later, either!).
    –go caroling at the homes of the less fortunate.
    –babysit for the parents who don’t have much time to shop.
    –wrap presents for those who don’t have much time to do so…and assemble those toys for them, too! Maybe you could keep the presents in your home for them and deliver them when they are at Mass on Christmas eve (with the parents’ corroboration of course).
    –put some extra cash in a tattered coat on the coat rack…where the wearer will find it, naturally!
    * Take the snow off of the cars in the parking lot while Christmas Masses are being said (you may need some elves to do this–carefully, of course–and make sure you do all the windows, headlights and taillights, too!)

    There are so many ways to help others, so many ways to help Christ be born in the hearts of all mankind.

  • pagansister

    The fellow in the article has the true meaning of Christmas.
    Notgiven: Excellent ideas. :o )

  • Notgiven

    pagansister–I’m always open to hearing new ideas. So, if you or anyone else has some more, please post them so we can all enrich those in need.


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