(BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany) — A secret philanthropist has been hiding envelopes stuffed with thousands of euros around the tiny German town of Braunschweig.
So far, the donor has left 19 envelopes totaling 190,000 euros — or $250,256 — in the village, about 145 miles west of Berlin, since November, according to some reports. One was found under a doormat and another was slipped behind hymn books in a church.
What is known about the anonymous donor is that the money comes in blank white envelopes, sometimes with directions on how to spend the donation. The largest gift was $13,218 — 10,000 Euros — and the first recipient was a man who had thousands of euros stolen in a burglary.
The most recent beneficiary was Eva Reulette, a hospice worker who found 10,000 eruos under her doormat.
“We couldn’t believe it,” she told DPA news service. “We had just been talking about how great these donations are.”
Michael Knobel, a manager of a hospice, which specializes in comforting the terminally ill, also got an envelope.
He told the BBC, “This person gives money for good causes, like hospice, kindergarten or churches.”
Another donation went to the family of Tom Neumann, 14, who had become disabled after a swimming accident. The boy’s mother, Claudia Neumann, was astounded by the generosity.
“I was driving when I heard the news. I had to park on the side of the road. I was speechless. For someone to act so selflessly…was astonishing,” she said.
There is much speculation as to whether the generous gifts are an old person nearing the end of his/her life, or even a few people working together to reward those who are less fortunate without seeking anything in return.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis and Steve Almasy, CNN
Chieu Luu and Huizhong Wu, CNN
David Williams, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN