A Wonderful Mystery Man Has Been Hiding $100 Bills in Boxes of Diapers

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In times like these, it can be tough to retain hope and not just live in a world of stress and anxiety and worry. When the world around us seems to be falling apart, at least we can try to be kind to each other, and one Oregon man has been doing that by leaving $100 bills around his town whenever things start getting darkest.

According to Scary Mommy, back in 2013 mysterious $100 bills with the name “Benny” written on them started turning up around Salem, Oregon. They’ve been hidden inside diaper boxes, baby toys, and containers of baby formula. This week one family even found one lying on the seat of their car.

Benny bills are reportedly found in cycles, and Salem residents say it seems like more Benny bills start showing up whenever the news is particularly full of terrible stories. Last month, a record-breaking 86 Benny bills were found in Salem. That’s $8,600 just left around the town in one particularly dark month.

Benny’s gifts are generous, but he’s doing a lot of good just by lifting people’s spirits and reminding people that there is good in the world, and that they can contribute to it. It sounds hokey, but a lot of people have responded to finding Benny bills by donating the money to food banks or to other charities. (238 people are on record as having donated their Benny bills. That’s $23,800 to charity by someone just leaving $100 bills around Salem, Oregon.) Some people needed the money and used it themselves, but others found themselves thinking they should send it on. That’s pretty great, too. Nothing makes a person feel secure and comfortable like giving money to someone else.

There’s a special grace to anonymous giving like “Benny” is doing. Keeping one’s generosity secret is tough, but it really proves that one is not doing good deeds just for plaudits and attention. That really drives home the message that “there are nice people in the world who want to help people without looking for something in return,” which is a pretty great thing to be reminded of right now.