Acts of Kindness Add Warmth to
Secret Santa's Identity Revealed
By Hong Kong News Group (Originally in English)
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” -- Aesop
For 26 years, every December, a man known as Secret Santa gave away money anonymously to strangers whom he felt needed it the most.
In November last year, millionaire businessman Mr. Larry Stewart of Kansas City, Missouri revealed he was the Secret Santa. After being diagnosed with cancer in April 2006, Stewart decided to use his celebrity status to inspire people to give to others less fortunate. “After all, isn’t that what we are put here on Earth for -- to help one another?” Mr. Stewart passed away in January 2007 and during his life on Earth he anonymously gave out about US$1.3 million.
Before taking on the role of Secret Santa, Stewart prayed to God to lift him up to be a better person and help others. He wasn’t always a millionaire and more than understood the pain of poverty. He was born poor, was homeless for a brief period of time, dropped out of college, had been fired from two jobs, and once even considered robbery. But every time he hit a low point in his life, there was always someone that gave him money, food and most importantly, hope.
In 1971, he was homeless and slept in his car for eight nights and hadn’t eaten in two days until a Mississippi diner owner gave him US$20. He was so touched by this act of kindness that he vowed never to forget, and prayed, “Lord, if You ever put me in a position to help other people, I will do it;” and ever since, he has roamed the streets every December seeking those in need.
After finding the people, the stealthy Santa would surprise them with gifts of money or sometimes baked cookies or whatever he felt they needed most. Secret Santa kept on giving until the end, and for him that was the best gift of all.
In 2001, after September 11, he went to New York, where he handed out US$25,000 worth of US$100 bills; in 2004 he was in Florida helping the thousands left homeless after the three hurricanes; and in 2005 Secret Santa went back to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast.
Larry Stewart's anonymous random acts of kindness inspired four others to distribute US$70,000 of their own money to people in need last Christmas. Although Mr. Stewart has departed from our world, his Secret Santa legacy lives on with the many people he has helped, reciprocating the kindness to others in need. Through his humble generous acts of giving, Larry Stewart was, and will remain forever, the embodiment of kindness, and the beauty and truth of the potential best in each of us.
For more information: http://www.secretsantausa.com/Home.asp