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Secret Santa revealed: Man handed out $10 bills to unsuspecting drivers

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

We covered this story on Christmas Eve after we were told about drivers being handed $10 bills by a man who appeared to be homeless.

That man recently posted a video to YouTube and says he did this all to spread the spirit of giving.

The video shows a man who appears to be panhandling in the east valley on the day before Christmas, but it isn't really what it looks like.  Instead of asking for money, the man carried a sign that says "Merry Christmas," -- handing out $10 bills to anyone who tried to give him money -- the drivers were caught off guard by the surprise.

FOX 10 was tipped off to the act of generosity by a woman who got one of the $10 bills that day, with a note attached to it, wishing people a Merry Christmas.

"Got goose bumps and started to cry and yeah, it was pretty amazing," said Krista Jauregui.

But until now, we had no idea who the Secret Santa was.  His name is Emet Soqui.  He and a friend named Carlos handed out hundreds of dollars over two days, just before Christmas.

"They way we're gonna do it is -- we're going to encourage people to give to homeless people throughout the valley. So I'm dressing up today as a homeless guy," said Soqui.

Emet says over 12 hours on the street, many drivers ignored him or appeared distracted, but more than 30 people did try to offer him some money, only to be surprised when he handed money to them.

"What a connection, what an emotion.. The people were great," he said

Emet told me over e-mail he never wanted any attention for this, but he does hope it will inspire others to help people in need all year round.

Online: http://youtu.be/9Adkta2StnE

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