updated 12/23/2008 6:01:42 PM ET 2008-12-23T23:01:42

Two "Secret Santas" have given away $11,000 to unsuspecting Detroit area residents to add some happiness to their holidays.

The Detroit Free Press says a married couple anonymously handed out $100 bills Monday at bus stops, thrift stores and coin-operated laundries in the working-class Detroit suburb of Lincoln Park.

The couple say they wanted to give money to people hurt by the city's struggling auto industry, the poor economy, high unemployment and numerous home foreclosures.

A Missouri man became known as "Secret Santa" after giving away money for more than two decades. The charitable holiday operation has since taken root in cities like Charlotte, N.C., Phoenix and St. Louis.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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