Splurging for a Cause

These wealthy people put their money to good use


How often have we seen the wealthy splurge on the luxuries of life? How often have we wished that they would put their money to some good use? Redditors list out the best displays of private wealth they’ve witnessed.

1. The Anonymous Donor

When my mother was sick we created a givealittle page for donations towards her treatment we couldn’t afford. After half a day of the page being up someone anonymously donated $15000, double of what we needed. Still don’t know who it was to this day. [pez13]

2. The Generous Tipper

I was a chef in a fancy boutique hotel here in New Zealand and we used to get the famous and wealthy staying with us. We had a sheikh of an oil country (well I’m assuming he was a sheikh, or just an Arabian dude rocking the flowing robes and hat) came over to the pass and complimented us on the meal and asked how many staff in the kitchen, including kitchen hands and waitstaff – it was something like 12 or 13. The guy just peels off that amount of hundy notes and gives everyone a hundred dollar tip. Pretty cool and nothing as obnoxious as gold Ferraris or anything. [kingchobo]

3. The Caring Employers

My grandfather was a landscaper for one of the wealthiest families in his town.

All along the years they were always very generous, giving him large Christmas bonuses and extra money during the year for reasons like they loved the rich hue of the roses that year.

At age 86 grandpa saw a doctor for the first time and was told he had to stop working. All the bending over caused eye problems.

The family continued to pay him his weekly salary and maintain his health insurance until he died (at 100). They then sent $20,000 to the funeral home to “defray” some of the costs.

Mom and I would occasionally go up there when he was working, and if she was home the matriarch would come out and sit with us, and have us served iced tea with mint and the most delicious cookies. Just really nice folks. [Frugalista1]

4. Education Matters

I was lucky enough to attend a very nice private school that taught kids from JK (junior kindergarten) through 12th grade with tuition about $20k per year. A classmate of mine’s family, after having paid the way for their four kids to go through all 13 grades, also paid full tuition every year for their housekeepers five children to go through the same school. [MrSlowly4]

5. The Motivational Speaker

Dad’s co worker is a former gang member. In high school they had a club for at risk boys like him and they had a motivational speaker come in that was just like them. Rough, poor life but turned it around and became a millionaire. He promised this kid that if he could turn his life around he would pay for what ever university he wanted to go to. Kid got out of his gang, went to business school and now owns a successful restaurant. [MouldyArtist917]

6. Best Boss Ever

That would have to be my wife’s boss

Dude is a neurologist, one of only two in the city. Needless to say, his office is busy and I’m sure he’s financially secure.

As far as his wealth goes, he shares it. He has probably 25 people under his business.

Every summer he throws a catered beach party at his lake house for employees and their families. His jet skis, pontoon boat, bass boat all have the keys in them and everyone is told if they want to drive one, put on a life vest and have at it. He does a series of games and the winner gets a gift card to somewhere nice, in the end everyone gets one. Usually each card is about $200 to X business. Everyone has the option to stay the whole weekend or just the day. From the moment you get there till the moment you leave, everything is provided and paid for.

Every Xmas he gives every employee a bonus in the form of an extra paycheck. Even the ones who technically don’t work for him get it. He also throws a Xmas dinner and party for employees and their families. The dinner is held at the nicest Italian restaurant in town every year, with the afterparty at his home. Once at the house everyone plays dirty Santa with $20 gifts they brought then it’s time for the employee only dirty Santa. He furnishes the gifts for this round and they can be anything from the newest and nicest iPad to a 60″ LED tv. Then each employee is gifted a personal item from boss man to the employee. His only stipulation there is you must give him an Xmas list prior and it has to be more than $500, less than $1000.

And not just twice a year he’s nice. My wife knows for a fact he’s paid off employees’ medical or credit card debt just because he can and he makes said employee promise to never mention it. Obviously, people mention it.

When my wife went to him to tell him she is going back to school and asked for a change in her schedule his response was: how about I pay you for 40 hr but you work whatever you can while succeeding in school? Oh, and bring me your tuition bill, I want to pay that too. [Johnathon78]

7. Pay It Forward

When I was one year old our house burned to the ground. We lost everything, including the car. My father spent months in the burn unit with less than a 33% chance of survival. Miraculously, he recovered.

A fellow church member/friend bought us a brand new car and left a stack of cash in the glove box to help us get back on our feet. My father promised to repay him after he got a job (at the time of the fire he was in a PhD program, which he subsequently dropped out of). The man refused to let my father pay him back and simply said, “Someday, you will have the chance to do this for someone else.”

Fast forward a decade and my father had a great job. We lived in a nice home, had multiple cars and everything else we needed. At our church meeting, it was announced that money was being raised to purchase a specialized van for a paralyzed man. After the meeting and in private, my father asked how much was needed to buy the van. He proceeded to write a check to cover the remaining cost. Sadly, our fellow church member who had done such a wonderful deed to us had passed away and was not around to hear that his words to my father had come true. [trevwilliam]

8. One Awesome, Anonymous Donor

I worked on a children’s cancer unit and every year we had a 2 week children’s cancer survivor camp. There were usually 30 – 40 kids each year. They had an ice cream machine in each of the dorm rooms. A trip to Disney staying at the $500+/night Disney hotels. Park tickets. Pocket money to spend in the parks. They chartered a yacht for a day of fishing and cruising on the ocean. Swim with the Dolphins day. The girls got make overs. The boys and girls got game systems. Fine dining at a posh restaurant on South Beach with limo rides. Shopping spree at a swanky mall. Pretty much anything they wanted was at least seriously considered and usually granted. Most of these kids were from middle class and poor families and no way would have ever been able to afford that. As a nurse I got to go on some of those trips to manage their meds and it was amazing. It was just the surviving kids. No families, no siblings. It was all 100% about only them.

All of this paid for each year by one check from one awesome, anonymous donor. [TomTheNurse]

9. The Philanthropist 

When my cousin had cancer, she made friends with the girl she shared a room with in the hospital, who was dying and had no living relatives. Her friend was going to have to transfer to the shittiest hospital in our area because she had run out of money.

My millionaire uncle found out about this when he was visiting my cousin, and paid her friend’s medical bills through on the spot in 2 phone calls. Then he gave her his number to make sure she called the next time her bills were due. [Sparkly_alpaca]

My cousin survived. Amanda, her friend, did not. She died a few months later. My uncle is still himself. He always said that instead of tithing to a church, he’d give 10% of his income to people he encountered who needed help, and he has pretty much stuck by that. This is just one example of the many, many people he’s helped out. [Sparkly_alpaca]

10. The Aunt Who Secured Their Future

My auntie (My mother’s younger sister) paid for both me and my sister’s education after my dad passed away.

He was the sole breadwinner.

I’m Asian; so the moment I got my degree, found a job (any job really, it was the 2008 crisis then), I started paying her back every month about 500 bucks for the amount of money she had lent me to study.

I got married about a year ago, she was obviously there for my wedding. We have a custom/tradition for our visitors to drop a red packet (hong bao) for good fortune and good tidings to our marriage.

She dropped a cheque in the box. When we opened it the next day,

It was the amount that I had been paying her back every single month the past 4-5 years for my education. She effectively gifted me a free education/pass to my life.

I cannot do enough to thank her 🙁 [sdre]