Donation from an anonymous donor earns $ 100 bill to every guest and employee of Maison St. Francis

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Gifts, big and small, are in the spotlight on Christmas Day. Sometimes we can make an intelligent, informed guess about who might be giving us something. But other times it’s a surprise. St. Francis House in Sioux Falls is providing transitional accommodation for guests, and an anonymous donor ensured all staff and guests received a $ 100 bill. But this Christmas story doesn’t end there.

Darrin Stringfellow has had a hard time; his cancer is in remission and he is living with Parkinson’s disease. He is invited to the Maison Saint-François.

“It allowed me with everything that I have been through, it allowed me to have an opportunity and to find a life again,” Stringfellow said.

He is one of 90 invited to receive a $ 100 bill from the anonymous donor. The 30 staff members also receive a $ 100 bill.

“I cried a bit,” said employee Nichole Barry. “It’s good to feel appreciated.

“It just lets you know you’re not alone,” guest Jay Jones said. “You’re not alone.”

St. Francis House General Manager Julie Becker addressed a message to the guests during the presentation of the gift.

“Know that this donor wanted you all to know that you are all special people, okay?” Becker said. “Your situation does not define you. You’re all here for a reason, and everything is different, and everyone is working according to their plan to be a better lifestyle.

“It’s going to mean a lot, a hundred dollars is a lot,” Barry said. “See, I’m almost crying right now.”

Becker explains that the donor’s motivation came from seeing a CBS Evening News story about another donor giving money and kind words. It was therefore the local donor who made it to Maison St. Francis. On Thursday with his staff, Becker asked them to continue the theme.

“The only thing I’m asking is that with this gift you get, you keep the momentum going to pay it to the next,” Becker said.

“I think a lot of them will probably use it on their kids, their families, stuff like that,” Barry said.

Becker made the same request to guests on Saturday.

“Maybe it’s putting a few dollars in the Salvation Army’s red kettle, maybe buying someone a cup of coffee,” Becker said.

Jones has an idea of ​​what he’s going to do.

“Even though we eat well here, there are still a lot of people who are not eating well, and I’m going to get someone and try to buy them a meal,” Jones said.

“It’s very humbling to know that this donor has selected us and the work we do,” Becker said.

When KELOLAND News interviewed Stringfellow right after Becker presented the bills to the guests, he said he felt “overwhelmed”.

“I saved a year of rent in four and a half months, by working both jobs, and they gave me so much more, a sense of worth, however, not just the monetary things and a warm bed,” said Stringfellow. . “I feel like a complete human again. ”

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