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‘Secret Santa’ Hands Out $100 Bills To Residents In Storm-Hit NJ, Staten Island

Secret Santa (credit: via CBS 2)

Secret Santa (credit: via CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A Missouri man posing as “Secret Santa” is giving away $100,000 this holiday season and spent a day on Staten Island and in New Jersey giving away money to people who lost their belongings or homes in Superstorm Sandy.

But the Kansas City businessman said money is not the issue. It’s about random acts of kindness.

Secret Santa started his East Coast visit Thursday in Elizabeth, N.J. He then surprised Staten Island residents by thrusting $100 bills into their hands.

“This is the start of our holiday cheer. We can go Christmas shopping now. It’s nice,” said Staten Island resident Janice Kennedy, who lost everything in the storm. “He’s a great man.”

He said he is setting an example and hopes others will follow.

Keeping close watch over the cash handouts were his security entourage – police officers in uniform from New York and New Jersey, plus FBI agents. Some wore red berets marked with the word “elf.”

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)