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Anonymous Donor Gives Away 20K To Random Strangers In Order To Spread Some Holiday Cheer

A random act of kindness left many Traverse City residents smiling ear to ear Wednesday. An anonymous donor gave away $20,000 to strangers throughout the area yesterday.

The donor reached out to the Bay Area Transportation Authority and asked them to help distribute the money to people who ride the buses.

“They’re looking for some of our passengers who may need a little bit of holiday cheer this year,” said Eric Lingaur, BATA Communications & Development Director. “But it’s really anyone who might need a smile on their face this holiday season.”

Surprised, thankful and humbled are all the words people used to describe how they were feeling after receiving a little cheer.

“I think it’s a good thing that people care in the community, to help people out,” said Santiago Martinez, a Traverse City resident.

 The money was tucked away in white envelopes, attached with a little holiday note. Increments of $100, $150, and $200 were gifted to people chosen by bus drivers.

“Our staff has been extremely grateful and thankful to actually do something like this,” said Lingaur. “Especially with the riders that they see daily.” 

 This is the second gear the donor gave BATA money to give away. The first year was in 2019.

“The stories that we heard from folks that have received money are, they can maybe buy Christmas presents this year for their families, help pay a utility bill, or even buy some warm clothes for this winter,” said Lingaur. “Some folks have even said they’re thankful for receiving it and they’re going to help pass it on to other folks as well.” 

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