WAYCROSS, Ga. -- An anonymous man bought $500 in gift cards at a Waycross McDonald’s Monday morning and handed them right back to the shift manager asking that they be used for the hungry and homeless, the restaurant’s owner said.
“No name. No nothing. That’s it,” owner Brian Fey said. “In my opinion, it’s in the true Christmas spirit to do it the way that guy did it.”
The man left the store and the shift manager, taken aback, took the cards to the general manager who called Fey. Fey said he then took half the cards, which are in $25 increments as the buyer asked, to the Sweetwater Baptist Church homeless shelter in Waycross and was giving the rest to the Pierce County Food Pantry in Blackshear.
Fey also said he is matching the donation dollar-for-dollar and will double the number of cards contributed to each organization.
Fey said there was nothing remarkable about the man’s appearance, whom he described as being about 40.
By walking out, however, the man showed remarkable faith that the cards would be used as he intended, Fey said.
Fey said he decided quickly to pass the cards along to organizations that serve the homeless and hungry because rarely do people come to the McDonald’s on U.S. 1 in south Waycross asking for free food.
The Rev. Philip Tyre, pastor of Sweetwater Baptist, said the cards will be handed out “to the guys.”
The shelter has beds for eight but was down to two residents Monday with the several having moved “on and up’’ to permanent housing and jobs, Tyre said.
As part of the shelter’s program, the men are all out looking for jobs during the day and can use the cards to buy their lunches, he said.
The church provides the shelter and then relies on donations from the congregations at Sweetwater and other churches.
“This will go a long way,” he said.
Fey said the anonymous gift may have been spurred by the so-called “layaway angels” who have anonymously paid off Christmas shoppers’ layaways at Kmart stores.
Fey said he admires the man for not identifying himself. “It’s not easy to give to begin with, but then to get no pat on the back …” Fey said.