Alan Naiman was not a celebrity nor a notable person in the field of sports and politics. But upon dying, the world learned about his name. Known to his friends as a man who knows the value of money, Alan lived a frugal life. He wore old shoes repaired with duct tapes, bought shirts at local grocery stores, and often ate at affordable fast food chains. Looking at his lifestyle, he really was a man of simplicity.
But when he died of cancer last January 2018, at a ripe age of 63-years-old, it turned out that there was more to Alan Naiman than what meets the eye. Alan may have been frugal but the money he saved was duly allotted to a greater cause. Unbeknownst to most people, he was able to save millions of money which he would intended to donate to organizations nurturing the abused, poor, sickly, and disabled children. In short, upon his death, his total of $11 million estate were all donated to charities.
“He left it all to charities — mostly to kids, the section of society that couldn’t really help themselves.” A close friend of Alan Naiman, Shashi Karan, shared in an interview.
Alan dedicated two decades of his life working at Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services where he earned about $67,200 annually. But before that he worked as a banker in the 80’s.
“He made a career change into social services probably around the time he was fostering,” The spokeswoman of Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families, shared her opinion about the late Alan.
Alan’s $11 million is the fruit the wealth he inherited from his parents and as well as the money he enjoyed saving from his paychecks.
“Saving money was sort of a game to him,” Karan said. “He would brag about how he had a whole day out and didn’t have to spend a single cent.”
But Alan did not only concern himself in saving money. Once in a blue moon, Alan would spoil himself as well with the things he love. When his beloved brother died in 2013, he bought spoiled himself with a Scion FR-S sports car.
“It’s a nice little sports car, but it’s not a Mustang or a Corvette or a Porsche that he easily could have afforded,” Karan added.
Originally, Alan wanted to travel and explore the world, he also thought of buying a nice house overlooking a scenic view. Unfortunately, all of this did not come true to life when he was diagnosed with cancer.
What could have inspired Alan to save his money and donate it all to children in need? Well, his friends believe that it was because of his disabled older brother, Daniel.
According to Susan Madsen, Alan’s friend, Alan’s tight relationship with his brother “kind of colored the way he looked at things.”
Because of this, even though Alan did not marry nor had children of his own, he decided to allot the money he saved all throughout his life to benefit the children in need. And so, Alan spent the remaining time of his life researching charities for children.
Karan said that her deceased friend would often say that just like Bill Gates, he would like to work and commit himself at foundations.
“My gift is going to be bigger than their annual budget. It’s going to blow them away.” Alan reportedly told Karan when he was still living.
As it turned out, Alan was serious about his goal. Upon his death, it was revealed that he gave $2.5 million to a Washington State charity that dedicates their foundation to help kids that were exposed to opiates, cocaine, and drugs.
“We first became aware of Alan’s generosity last fall when we received a $10,000 donation from him online,” The Pediatric Interim Care Center shared in an interview. “Thinking that large amount might be a mistake, we called him to make sure he had entered the right number of zeroes! Yes, he told us, the donation was right, and there would be more to come in the future.”
Alan assured the Pediatric Interim Care Center that the big amount of money is all for the benefit of children under their care. In a letter, Alan revealed that back when he was just starting his career at the Department of Social and Health Services, he was trying to find a home for a delicate baby. It was the center’s founder who personally came to his office and took the child.
Another organization was blessed to receive Alan’s generous kindness. The Treehouse received an initial $5,000 months before Alan died. Upon his death, they were surprised to know that a bigger amount of money has been donated to them again.
“Then, shortly after his passing, we learned he would be donating an additional $900,000. The donation is completely unexpected.” Jessica Ross, the Chief Development Officer revealed.
Alan may have died at a ripe age of 63, but he sure lived a meaningful life. Aside from the Pediatric Interim Care Center and the Treehouse, he also donated money to Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, WestSide Baby, the Catholic church of his parents, and the Disabled American Veterans as well.
“For someone to live their life the way Alan did — and then leave a legacy like this to so many worthy organizations — is an inspiration,” Jessica Ross added. “We’re so thankful to be a part of this. What a generous, loving man.”
They say that money is the root of all evil. But Alan’s inspiring life sure proves that it is not really about the money but what you do with it. Indeed, our world is full of kind people who knows the importance of sharing and caring!
Photos | ABC 7 Chicago