Maine Secret Santa Hands Out Thousands of Dollars

He stopped by thrift shops and food banks Tuesday, handing out envelopes with $100 bills

Hundreds of people around Portland, Maine, have received a generous Christmas gift, but they don't know who to thank.

An anonymous donor, dressed up as Santa Claus, has made several stops to thrift stores and food pantries in Southern Maine, handing out $100 bills.

"I'm at a loss for words," said Sherill Holmgren, who was shocked to see the Secret Santa at the Scarborough Food Pantry Thursday morning.

Holmgren said she had just run out of money, and thought about begging on the street for cash.

"I don't have to do that now," she said, through tears. "I'm very grateful."

Another patron at the food pantry said she planned to use the money to have Christmas with her kids.

"You can only say thank you," said Clare Lalime, who got tearful talking about the generous surprise.

Since 2009, the man has been dressing up as Santa and giving out $100 bills. He only asks that recipients pay it forward and do something kind for someone else.

"If you can do something similar to this – and it doesn't have to be large – enjoy the feeling of what happens when you give to somebody," he said.

The Secret Santa has given out more than $160,000 since 2009. This year he visited five locations, and handed out around $20,000.

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