Several Washington state organizations are a little better off this holiday season, because of a frugal Secret Santa’s selfless last act.
Alan Naiman was known for his penny pinching, but those around him had no idea exactly how much he’d amassed. When the social worker died of cancer earlier this year, he left behind an $11 million fortune, according to the Associated Press.
Naiman donated most of it to local charities that benefit children.
The 63-year-old was a former banker, but worked for the state’s Department of Social and Health Services for the last two decades. His salary earned him $67,234. At times, he took on as many as three jobs.
In addition to savings, Naiman was known to keep his shoes together with duct tape, drive clunkers and even bargain with grocers at closing time.
Investments also helped make him a millionaire, in addition to an inheritance from his parents.
Naiman, who was notoriously private, died unmarried and childless, but loved children.
His friends said he didn’t spend the money on himself, after realizing how life could be for the most vulnerable children. His friends think his devotion to his older brother who had a developmental disability, also influenced how he chose to live.
Several of the organizations Naiman left money to said they didn’t personally know him, but were familiar with him.
He left $2.5 million to the Pediatric Interim Care Center, an organization that cares for babies born to mothers with drug addictions.
Naiman also left $900,000 to the Treehouse foster care organization. They say they will use the money to expand its college and career counseling.