A wealthy Missouri man posing as "Secret Santa" stunned New Yorkers recently, handing $100 bills to many in Staten Island who had lost everything to Superstorm Sandy.
The Kansas City businessman is giving away $100,000 this holiday season, and spent the day in New Jersey and New York giving away thousands. But he says money is not the issue.
"The money is not the point at all," said the anonymous benefactor as he walked up to surprised Staten Island residents and thrust crisp bills into their hands. "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!"
At a stop at a Staten Island Salvation Army store, one woman is looking over a $4 handbag. "But you get $100!" he tells her, offering the bill.
"Are you serious?" said Prudence Onesto, her eyes widening. "Really?"
"Secret Santa," he deadpans, breaking into a broad grin.
The unemployed woman opened her arms and offered him a hug.
Another woman sobbed, and then explained through tears that her granddaughter was having surgery, and she didn't have money for transporation to visit her until she ran into "Secret Santa."