By Dillon Thomas
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Hundreds of Colorado children will have a special gift from a stranger this Christmas all thanks to a tradition to spread acts of kindness. For nearly one decade, an anonymous donor has purchased all the toys at the Goodwill in Fort Collins and tasked staff with giving them away to kids.
The donor, who wished not to be identified by name, told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas his tradition all started with an impulse decision years ago.
“I just went up to the manager, and said, ‘I will buy the toy department. Give it away.’ The children went crazy. And, I thought, what a great thing,” the donor said.
Since then, he has purchased the toys, stuffed animals and children books before Christmas each year. On Saturday, he stood at a distance and watched, as the store once again announced the surprise of his anonymous donation over the intercom.
“We are here to watch the kids be happy,” the donor said. “It is just pure. It is happiness. Because, this is really my Christmas.”
Children calmly, yet happily, combed their way through shelves, tubs and bags of toys, books and stuffed animals. Each child is allowed to take one gift, no matter how much it cost, for free. The donor purchased all toys through Christmas Eve, while supplies last.
“I got big fire truck, a big one,” one young boy said.
Parents, who were caught off guard by the random act of kindness, said they were encouraged by the donor’s heart. One parent applauded the donor for not putting his name on the donation, assuring this was not something to serve an image.
“It really is the embodiment of the Christmas spirit,” said Ben Jones, a father who claimed multiple new toys for his children. “Christmas, it really is better to give, than receive. And, today we got to be on the receiving end.”
The donor told CBS4 he wanted to do this to spread the Christmas spirit, while remaining out of the spotlight. He said his faith encouraged him to continue the annual event. He hoped his actions would encourage others, of all economic backgrounds, to consider doing a kind act for someone else during the holiday season.
“Go do something good. Make a difference. It doesn’t have to be something big. It can be little,” the donor said. “What would Jesus do? I kind of think this is what Jesus would do.”
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.