KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- For 26 years, Kansas City’s Secret Santa roamed the metro handing out $100 bills to strangers every December.
Larry Stewart, the millionaire philanthropist, gave away more than $1.3 million before his death in January of 2007.
His recruited Secret Santa’s in Kansas City and around the country, raised that total to more than $2 million as they continued his legacy of spreading kindness.
We don’t know if one of Stewart’s recruited Secret Santa’s gave the ladies the cash or if it was someone else who was inspired to give.
No matter who did it or why, the gesture meant a lot.
“Here I was standing here last Sunday at my post. A man handed me a $100 bill and just took off,” said Regina Manning, Surprised by Secret Santa.
He made a beeline toward Regina’s friend DeAnna on the other side of the tailgate.
The man slid each woman a $100 bill.
“I was in shock. I got home, and I was crying.” Manning continued, “I mean my heart was really just full.”
Manning recently lost a job she loved.
“Our last day was May 14th. It was sad. It really was. We were all crying,” expressed Manning.
When Toys R Us closed, so did the distribution center she worked at.
“I'm not making as much as I would have been had I been working there. I am working thankfully, thank the Lord,” voiced Manning.
That’s why the stranger’s kindness meant so much.
“That was just a big blessing and I want to thank him,” exclaimed Manning.
“I was yelling thank you, but he was gone lickety-split … just like that he blended in with the crowd,” proclaimed DeAnna Arnold, Surprised by Secret Santa.
Arnold couldn’t wait to publicly say “thank you.”
“Wow. I'm at a loss for words but thank you Secret Santa. Your money is really appreciated.” Arnold continued, “One hundred dollars may not be much to some people, but it's everything to me and it's going a long way.”
The friends rushed to hug each other when they realized a stranger just made their holidays a little better.
“It's an incredible feeling to know that there are kind people like that who have a heart of gold. It's really nice to receive help this time of year,” said Arnold.
Stewart, the original Secret Santa, didn’t reveal his identity until he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2006.
Before he passed, he told the new Secret Santa, “I just wish I could have helped more people."