For some people, a $100 bill is just a regular bill bearing America’s founding father, Benjamin Franklin. But for the people of Oregon, a $100 is a beacon of hope, kindness, and gratitude.
Bethany Wallace, who lives in Salem, Oregon, was on her routinary shopping trip to Fred Meyer together with her then 4-year-old child. She was about to pay for her items when she looked down in the cart and noticed a hundred-dollar bill.
“I felt guilty like I should tell someone, but I remembered the news articles about it, so I put it straight in my wallet and finished purchasing my groceries. It felt surreal.” Bethany shared, recalling a memorable incident.
Before you judge Bethany for keeping the $100-bill she had found, did you know that there is a mysterious good Samaritan, whom people fondly call as Benny? Well, Benny is an anonymous wealthy man who has given away more than $81,000 in the last 5 years.
What makes Benny a lot different from other good Samaritans is through the way he donates money. Instead of donating his money to a charitable institution, he chose to hide $100 bills bearing his signature in places where people who might need it the most can find it easily.
For instance, people often find Benny’s bill inside baby items in grocery stores. It seems that Benny knows that raising a child can really burn a hole in an ordinary person’s pocket.
“[It] Really helped me out the time I found a bill in my son’s box of pampers. Babies are expensive. Every dollar helps while on a single income.” Dianna Anderson, a Facebook user who had been helped by Benny shared how she found the $100 bill.
“I’ve received a ‘Benny’ in my wipes container once. If you’re reading this Benny, thank you!! Such a great man!” Jackie Case, another mother who was helped by Benny, happily expressed her words of gratitude.
As if the universe is conspiring with Benny, a lot of people who have discovered the Benny $100 bill found it when they needed it the most. For instance, Misty Fox, who bought her daughter a pair of pajamas, found the bill at the right time and in the right moment.
“We bought her a pair of pj’s at the south Salem Walmart and hung them for a later date. Didn’t realize until a few wks later when she became ill in the middle of the night, so we grabbed the new pj’s to put on her and out fell a Benny. At the time she was about to have a biopsy surgery, so it was a greatly appreciated act of kindness and love.” The thankful mother shared.
Some people have inklings about the kindhearted man’s identity, but until today, Benny remains a faceless man in the public’s eyes.
“I know who benny looks like and I am forever grateful to have spoken to him while he ordered food and dropped money in our tip jar. I was struggling that month for kids clothes for the winter and with the money he gave us I went and bought clothes for my kids. I will never forget his face. I will respect him and not go into detail on what he looks like. But he is one handsome fella!” Outon Natiea, a Facebook user from Oregon, shared her personal encounter with a man she refers to as Benny.
The generous and kindhearted Benny does not only snuck money on children’s items. Just last year, Benny started putting the money inside colorful coin purse. The colorful coin purse would then be placed on car seats, car windows, doorsteps, open yard. Benny’s $100 bill would also show up on art fairs, for-a-cause and charity expos, and even shelters!
In some cases, Benny’s donated money ends up in the hands of people who are already financially stable. In this case, some of those people chose to pass the kindness forward rather than keep the money for themselves.
An example of this is a man named Jeff Phillips, who discovered a Benny inside a box of Almond Nut-Thins. Instead of spending the Benny for himself, he donated it to the victims of the Orlando shooting instead.
More than being a good Samaritan, if there is another thing that Benny did good in the community of Oregon, that is no other than being an inspiration for others. There are people who have been helped by Benny before who passed the kindness forward after getting back on their feet.
Watch the video below to learn more about Benny, the good Samaritan whose random act of kindness did not only help people but also inspired them to pass the kindness they have experienced to other people!
Photos and Video l Statesman Journal and USA Today