Secret Santa gives gift cards to McDonald's to distribute

Anonymous man donates $500 in gift cards for people in need

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WAYCROSS, Ga. - It seems anonymous angels helping the needy this holiday season is catching on.

You may have heard of anonymous givers paying off layaways at Kmart and Walmart stores in Michigan, South Carolina, Iowa, California and New Jersey.

Now it appears the giving has caught on at a McDonald's in Waycross.

A man walked into the restaurant Monday and bought $500 worth of gift cards, all in $25 increments.

Then the man gave the cards back to McDonald's and asked the store to give them to people in need.

"Then he turns around and walks out, doesn't give his name, nothing," store owner Brian Fey said. "It's hard enough to give sacrificially as it is, and then to do it without any recognition, without any pat on the back. So sir, if you're out there, I just want to tell you, 'Thank you very much. You did a wonderful thing, and I hope it inspires others out there as well.'"

Fey matched that $500 donation, then gave half the gift cards to the Pierce County Food Bank and half to a local homeless shelter.

"A little bit of shock," Dan Prewitt, who's on the board of the Sweetwater Baptist homeless shelter, said of the donation.

Prewitt said the shelter has used the gift cards to help men in the shelter get lunch on days they're out looking for jobs.

"It makes us feel good. It makes it all worthwhile to be here," Prewitt said.

The anonymous gift giving seems to be a nationwide trend.

"It's just like the movie "Pay It Forward," Fey said. "Someone has started this with the layaways and people are catching on. And it really embodies the true spirit of Christmas, and that is, giving with no strings attached."

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