Re: Secret Santa, Once Homeless, Gives $100 Bills To People In

Coalition on Homelessness, SF (coh@sfo.com)
Sat, 25 Dec 1999 17:38:44 -0800


Folks doing COH outreach in United Nations Plaza last night reported 
someone handing $200 to any and all the folks who spend their days 
there - four fifties each.

peace,

chance

>***********************************************************
>HOMELESS PEOPLE'S VIEWS, News, Alerts, Actions & Research
>7,000+ ONLINE POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
>HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn
>INFO & to join/leave list - Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net>
>***********************************************************
>
>http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/19991225/aponline043422_000.htm
>FWD  Associated Press - Saturday, Dec. 25, 1999; 4:34 a.m. EST
>
>     SECRET SANTA HANDS OUT $100 BILLS
>
>KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Every Christmas for 20 years, the city's "Secret Santa"
>has wandered the streets handing $100 bills to those who seem in need.
>
>He was giving out cash on Thursday to people standing on street corners,
>waiting for buses, shopping in grocery stores, buying gas.
>
>Now a successful businessman, he went to Nick and Betty's Cafe, where Nick
>used to let him run a tab when times weren't so good. He gave waitress Kim
>Hoy $300 - one bill for her, and one for each of her children.
>
>"I can't handle this," Hoy said through tears. "This is the first Christmas
>without my mom. I wasn't looking forward to it."
>
>The man says he usually gives away $50,000, and estimated he was dispensing
>about $85,000 this year. His keeps his identity secret, in the custom of a
>"Secret Santa."
>
>"I don't even know that man," said 69-year-old Jerry Brooks, who received
>$100 as he shopped for a scarf in a thrift store. "I can't believe that. I
>don't know where he came from, but if he doesn't live to be 500, I'll eat
>my hat."
>
>As the man continued his tradition this year, he paused to remember why it
>began.
>
>It was 1971 in Houston, Miss. He was homeless and hungry, and the owner of
>the Dixie Diner bought him breakfast &#150; while saving his dignity.
>
>The man had been working as a salesman for a small company that suddenly
>went out of business. Left without a paycheck, he lived in his car for
>eight days until running out of gas and food.
>
>Desperate, he walked into Ted Horn's diner, ordered a big breakfast and
>tried to think of a way to get away without paying.
>
>Horn, who was his own cook, waiter and cashier, took note of the man's
>plight. He walked behind the man, reached down as if he'd dropped something
>and handed him $20.
>
>The man ran as fast as he could, pushed his car to the gas station and got
>out of town.
>
>On the road, though, he thought about what Horn had done.
>
>This year, he asked a friend to help him find Horn, and went back down to
>Houston.
>
>He walked into Horn's home to find him holding a magazine article about
>Kansas City's "Secret Santa." Horn, 81, knew the man in the article was the
>person he'd helped many years ago.
>
>"I'm that guy who was there 28 years ago," the man said. Horn nodded.
>
>He asked Horn what he thought that $20 bill was worth today.
>
>"Probably like $10,000," Horn said.
>
>A good number, the man said, and handed him an envelope. Inside was $10,000.
>
>"Good God," whispered Horn, who is caring for a wife with Alzheimer's
>disease after battling cancer and other ailments.
>
>David Horn, his son, was astounded.
>
>"For this man to come down and do this for my father - it's almost more
>than we can bear," he said.
>
>The man and Horn then went downtown and had lunch, and soon, his giving
>ways began again. Waitresses and cooks cried out in joy.
>
>Then he went to a laundry, to a drive-in, to the barber cutting hair where
>Horn's diner used to be, leaving a trail of cash everywhere.
>
>END FORWARD
>
>**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is
>distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior
>interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and
>educational purposes only.**
>
>
>
>
>*******************************************************
>HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn>
>7,000+ POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
>Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy
>*******************************************************

Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
vox: (415) 346.3740
Fax: (415) 775.5639
coh@sfo.com
http://www.sfo.com/~coh