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article image'Secret Santa' gives away $100 bills in Sandy-battered areas

By Leigh Goessl     Dec 2, 2012 in World
Santa has arrived early this year in some areas in New York and New Jersey that had been battered severely by Superstorm Sandy. An anonymous businessman has been giving out $100 bills to people.
This week it was reported that a "Secret Santa" traveling from Kansas City, Missouri has arrived in Sandy-battered New York and New Jersey bearing gifts. The anonymous businessman has been giving away $100 bills reports New Jersey Newsroom.
Reportedly, the "Secret Santa" visited areas of New York and New Jersey to hand out money to those in need, bringing along police officers from both states and current and former FBI agents to help keep a watch over the cash distributions. The law enforcement members wore caps designating them as "elves" as the man handed out the money at disaster centers and at Salvation Army stores.
“This is the start of our holiday cheer. We can go Christmas shopping now. It’s nice,” Staten Island resident Janice Kennedy told Associated Press (via CBS News). "He’s a great man.”
Kennedy had lost everything in the storm.
"The money is not the point at all," the anonymous benefactor told the Associated Press on Thursday as he was giving out cash to people in Staten Island. "It's about the random acts of kindness. I'm just setting an example, and if 10 percent of the people who see me emulate what I'm doing, anybody can be a Secret Santa!"
After spending a couple of days in New York and New Jersey, the generous man headed back to Kansas City.
The unnamed benefactor said he wanted to display acts of kindness and is hoping others follow his lead. He reportedly took his lead from millionaire Larry Stewart, also of Kansas City and a close friend of the anonymous businessman. The kind-hearted Stewart spent over two decades giving away over $1 million as a "Secret Santa".
Stewart had passed away five years ago. He is often referred to as the "Original Secret Santa"; others are carrying out his legacy.
The Associated Press (via St. Louis Today) reported the man intends to give away $100,000 this holiday season.
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