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Small Town Mayor Broke Down In Tears When Anonymous Donor Distributes Over $82,000 Worth Of Food Gift Cards To 549 Families In The City



  • Earlham city mayor, Jeff Lillie, received a call from a friend about a donor who wishes to stay unidentified.
  • The donor expressed his want to give away gift cards to every household in the town for three local businesses.
  • That is more than $82,000 worth of gift cards distributed to every family in the city and the mayor couldn’t be more grateful.

A kind benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous, is being praised for gifting over $82,000 worth of food coupons to every household in a small town in Iowa. 

As many of the businesses and establishments closed in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19, the people from Earlham city have struggled coping up with the situation.

That’s why the city mayor, Jeff Lillie, was awestruck upon receiving a call about the generous donor wanting to give away gift cards to every household for local stores.

Photo Credit: Jeff Lillie

Initially, he planned on giving 100 coupons to a local grocery store Hometown Market, West Side Bar and Grille, and to Trostel’s Broken Branch restaurant.But after an hour of discussion with the mayor, he raised the donation to 250 gift cards; then upped it again to 500. After learning that the total household in Earlham is 549, the benefactor agreed to distribute to each and every family of the city.

Much to the mayor’s astonishment, the anonymous donor did not give just one gift card but $50 gift cards for every store in each of the homes in town. That is more than $27,000 worth of gift cards in total for the three stores. 

This made the mayor break down in tears.

“[There are] bad things that have been happening,” he said. “As the mayor of a small town, making the decision to close our community centers and city hall and our library and all of the other bad decisions that we’ve been forced to make—and then here’s this really great thing. It just tore down my walls.”

“Financially, it’s one of the biggest things that’s ever happened to this small town,” he added.

Photo Credit: Jeff Lillie

Mayor Lillie kept it a secret for a week and earlier this month, the residents were flabbergasted by the $150 gift cards in their mailbox. 

Jennifer Trostel, owner of Trostel’s Broken Ranch, told CNN how thankful she was for the donation as it had saved her business from that damage that the shutdown had done. 

“It gave us hope,” she said. “To be able to pay our bills and know that it’s OK, we don’t have to close our doors forever. We’ll be here when this is over. I don’t think we could be able to say that without the donation.”

Now that the story is public, the mayor hopes the anonymous benefactor knows how deeply thankful he is—although he “couldn’t find the words” to say it, according to CNN.


“I would tell them thank you 549 times,” Lillie told CNN. “It would be like meeting a hero.”

Source: Good News Network