A Michigan Reddit user, who wants to be known only as Shelby, received a secret Santa gift from philanthropic billionaire Bill Gates. Shelby informed everybody of the generous surprise in a series of YouTube videos.
Reddit runs a year-round program where people can sign up to exchanging gifts with strangers. This was the 95th time Shelby participated in the program.
The Microsoft founder is known to have taken part since 2013 and is well-known for his lavish and personalized gifts.
Shelby got a notification on December 17 to inform her of an incoming parcel from Washington. At the time, she claims that she joked with her husband that it was from Bill Gates.
Employees at the FedEx office confirmed it the next day, excitedly informing her that “you’re the Bill Gates package!”
The gifts arrived in a giant box weighing 81 pounds and wouldn’t even fit in her car. Gates has become known for tailoring the gifts for his recipients by carefully researching their likes and interests.
Shelby’s gifts included books, toys for her cat, and Twin Peaks, and Harry Potter memorabilia.
It also contained a donation in her mother’s memory to the American Heart Association. Shelby’s mother died suddenly in April, ten days before her wedding.
Gates included a note which said: “I know no gift will ever make up for losing someone so important to you, I hope you and your family find your ‘new normal’ this holiday season.”
Shelby said her favorite gift in the package was the Great Gatsby manuscript, which she said contained scans of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s actual handwriting.
Shelby says she hopes to continue participating in Reddit’s secret Santa exchange, and now that she has lots of wrapping paper leftover, she’ll be sending many more presents to strangers in the future.
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