What would you do if Bill Gates was your Secret Santa? If you were reddit member NY1227, you'd have a cow. Literally, you'd have a cow. And so would some other person somewhere out there in the emerging—or not-so-emerging world.
This seriously awesome story starts with redditgift's Secret Santa program where people sign themselves up in the world's largest Secret Santa gift exchange. Tens of thousands of people agree to draw names and get that name a gift (there are wish lists involed), while some other person will draw your name and get you a gift. NY1227's name was drawn by the one and only Bill Gates, the world's richest man.
Who knew Mr. Gates was even taking part, right? NY1227 didn't, and in her excellent post about her experience this year, she describes how it never occurred to her that the "Bill" who sent her a package was, as she put it, "THE Bill."
"I thought Bill sounded like a friendly fellow," she wrote. "In fact, I had this whole image of this poor guy named Bill trying to navigate my wishlist full of makeup, nailpolish, glittery things to buy me. Quite frankly I felt bad for this "Bill" since I'm a self identified pain in the ass to shop for."
When she finally opened her package, she found several things. The first was a stuffed cow. You can see it in the image below being held by a certain someone. The second was a note about how "Bill" made a donation to Heifer International in her name. Hence the stuffed cow.
Heifer International is a charity that gives families sustainable things, such as cows, seeds, tools, or even the chance for a young girl to go to school. In the case of cows, the families who receive them promise to give away the first female offspring of that cow to another family. It's based on the "teach a man to fish" philosophy, because a cow can bring sustainable income to a family in the developing world.
Mr. Gates also got her a travel book because NY1227 had talked about her love of travel, but in what I think is a super awesome cool move, he included a photograph (below) showing him holding her stuffed cow and the donation certificate so that she would know it was really him.
Bill Gates Being Awesome
My hat goes off to Mr. Gates for participating in something like this, for yet again putting his wealth to work to help others in a sustainable way, and for doing all this with a personal touch that was in and of itself a great gift to a woman in New York. Read her post for the full story, because it's awesome.