A woman hopped aboard buses, greeted passengers with “Merry Christmas” and handed each an envelope containing a card and a $50 bill before stepping off and repeating the process on another bus.
She did it so quickly that descriptions of the woman varied among surprised Spokane Transit Authority passengers on several routes Thursday, The Spokesman-Review newspaper reported Friday.
“She kind of kept her head down. I don’t remember ever seeing this lady before,” said bus driver Max Clemons.
“I had a young man in the back of the bus. He looked like he was going to start crying. He said in broken English, ‘She don’t know how much this will mean to me at Christmas,”’ Clemons said.
Transit authority spokesman Dan Kolbet said efforts to identify the gift-giver were unsuccessful. Her generosity didn’t appear to be part of a marketing gimmick, he said.
The woman gave envelopes to about 20 passengers, he said. Each was sealed with a sticker that said: “To a friend from a friend.”
The woman, accompanied by one or two young boys, pulled the envelopes out of a cloth satchel. The buses were pulling away from stops before riders even knew what happened.
“There was a lot of excitement. People were making calls on their cell phones,” said driver Terry Dobson, who had two of his trips visited by the mystery woman. “The people on those buses really needed the money.”
Hours after the impromptu gift-giving, Dobson was still giddy.
“It was just a neat thing,” he said. “It makes you tingle all over.”