Hidden Cash Philanthropy Is Going ViralBy: Ashley Olds - June 1, 2014
I’m here to spread some good news on this lovely Sunday.
An anonymous and wealthy property developer in San Francisco with the twitter handle @hiddencash initiated a treasure hunt about a week ago and now it’s spreading internationally. After tweeting Californians clues about where the drop off would be, locals would seek out the site, recover the money-containing envelope, and gratefully tweet photos to him – holding their prize in hand.
As it’s sometimes difficult to believe in altruism, some have questioned how genuine his motives are.
However, the self-described member of the one percent (who remains anonymous right down to his exact age) has explained, “There is nothing commercial behind this. I’ve made millions of dollars the last few years, more than I ever imagined, and yet many friends of mine, and people who work for me, cannot afford to buy a modest home.”
He added, “This is my way of giving back to the community and also having fun.”
While the amounts given aren’t world altering (in a financial way) – that’s not what it’s all about. One San Francisco couple, for example, offered an interview after collecting $66 and a lottery ticket from a nearby drop off. Richard Rodriguez and his partner said, “The money was great but it was also so much fun doing something like this. It was a scavenger hunt.” Rodriguez added, “It’s not a lot of money. It’s not going to change your life. But the camaraderie it brings out in people is a lot of fun.”
The unidentified generous gentleman expressed his intent to keep taking the giveaway to new cities, but not before infecting those whose lives he’d touched with the spirit of giving:
And infusing the typical workday with some “fun”:
And – as he’d intended – having some fun in the process himself:
After just a little over a week since its inception, this innovative method of giving back has already spread. The United Kingdom and Vancouver have also seen the rise of prosperous citizens anonymously proffering money. Britain’s benevolent 25-year-old (who made his money via several e-commerce businesses), was inspired by the American version, and said: “I thought why not bring that over here and the reaction has been really good. I’m in a fortunate position to be able to give away money on a daily basis at the moment.”
Explaining what spurred him on a personal level, he added:
“It got to a point where there is only so much stuff that money can buy and for myself – as well as for the people finding the money – I find it quite fun. I get more of a kick out of that than I would spending £50 on myself. We’ve planned a drop right down south, in Brighton, and I’ve planned one in London.”
Now, Vancouver is also part of the social experiment as the twitter account @hiddencashYVR began the giveaways too. Posted to their account page is, “let’s bring some smiles to Vancouverites. Pictures and clues of hidden $100s around town will be posted… finders, keepers!”
But the only thing the “finders” are “keeping” is the spirit – by paying it forward:
It’s a wonderful thing when good news like this spreads instead of dying in its ephemeral televised time slot – sandwiched between distress tales. So, if you’re in a city participating, have fun, be safe, and remember that we can all be a part of this – wherever we are. Whether we pay for a stranger’s coffee or just pay them a compliment on their brilliant smile, we’ve done something awesome today that just might spread too.
Have a beautiful day!
Image via Youtube