Santa personally delivered surprising vacation presents to the tons of of people that picked up a produce donation on the Gene and Marlene Epstein Campus of Bucks County Neighborhood School Friday morning.
As they drove out of the parking zone, Santa Claus and Gene Epstein himself stopped them within the rain handy every driver an envelope.
Their reactions when opening the envelopes and seeing a contemporary $100 invoice inside made Epstein’s day.
“I really feel so nice if I’m capable of change any individual’s life for an hour, a day, every week … It’s an dependancy I don’t need to recover from,” he stated.
Epstein and his spouse, Marlene, had individually stuffed the envelopes with the payments — about $40,000 altogether, together with a $5,000 donation from a neighbor and one other smaller donation from his accountant.
He donated a Santa go well with to Robert Piazza, whose go well with had been stolen lately, on the situation that Piazza would assist him with this shock cash distribution. One other Santa go well with donation really suited Piazza higher, however he readily agreed to the duty at hand.
As a automobile drove up after making its cease for the Contemporary Join produce, Santa politely urged the driving force to roll down his window, then handed the individual the envelope.
When she opened hers, Theresa Briggs of Tullytown grew wide-eyed. “I’m sorry. Thanks,” she stated as tears began to circulation. “You’ll be able to’t think about how a lot this implies.”
Different recipients had comparable reactions. Elaine Walker of Bristol Borough stated she would share the present along with her neighbor who’s battling most cancers and who couldn’t come to choose up the produce supplied every week by the Contemporary Join program due to his worry of catching COVID.
Contemporary Join is run by a gaggle of Bucks County charitable organizations to assist farmers provide contemporary produce to those that could also be struggling with their meals payments. Organizers needed folks to know that the Epstein cash donation was a one-time occasion that coincided with Friday’s meals distribution.
“Oh my gosh, thanks a lot,” stated Veronica Kelly of Levittown, who stated it might assist her as she raises a grandchild.
Epstein, who now lives in Bucks County, stated he knew what it meant to do with out as a toddler rising up in Philadelphia. “I do know what persons are going by means of,” he stated.
When his mother, Matilda, couldn’t pay the mortgage one month, he stated they grew to become renters of their house. However he had labored in his grandparents’ sweet retailer within the metropolis as a younger baby, and watching his grandmother donate funds to the close by Church of the Incarnation, he developed a love each for enterprise and for serving to others.
As an adolescent, Epstein began shopping for and promoting vehicles earlier than and after going to Olney Excessive College. His first sale, he stated, was a Studebaker he purchased for $50 and bought for $155. He paid his mother again the cash he had used to purchase the automobile after which cut up the revenue along with her. He quickly paid off the mortgage on their house.
He stated he would purchase a automobile at night time, repair it up within the morning, promote it it the Philadelphia Night Bulletin and Inquirer from faculty after which promote it the following night time. His spouse, whom he met at age 15 whereas strolling to high school, usually helped him. He would proceed working within the automotive and industrial actual property trade all through his lengthy profession.
Moreover making a major contribution to the Bucks County Neighborhood School, the Epsteins assist a scholarship program there and have pledged as much as $50,000 in matching funds to assist the Bucks County Courier Occasions and The Intelligencer with their Give A Christmas drive this yr, along with their different philanthropic work.
And Epstein continues to be into vehicles. He proudly confirmed his 2009 Lexus with 170,000 miles on it as he waited to present out the $100 payments.
“How might I purchase a brand new automobile,” he requested rhetorically, when his previous automobile nonetheless works and there are many individuals who must be helped.