December 19, 2013
Reddit Secret Santa Contributor Happens To Be Philanthropist Bill Gates
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The social news and entertainment website known as Reddit, where registered users can submit content in the form of links and text posts, broke its own record for the largest Secret Santa Gift Exchange this year and one Reddit user had Bill Gates as her very own Secret Santa.
According to Reddit, the 2012 Secret Santa Gift Exchange had more than 44,000 people from 130 countries around the world take part. This year the goal was met and then some. In fact, Reddit Gifts reached 121 percent of this year’s goal, with 121,900 Secret Santas from 160 countries taking part in the exchange program. Users had to sign up by December 2, and gifts needed to be shipped by December 20.
One Reddit user named Rachel – known as user NY1227 - found out this week that the “Bill” assigned to her in the annual gift exchange was none other than Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates. He reportedly sent her a stuffed cow, along with a donation to the non-profit Heifer International and the travel book Journeys of a Lifetime. He even included a photo of him standing in front of the Christmas tree with the cow, book and a note.
As the package merely showed up as “to Rachel, from Bill,” it wasn’t until she saw the photo inside that she realized it was from the Microsoft founder turned philanthropist.
He also included a note which read:
“To Rachel, My Secret Santa present to you is a cow! Don’t worry – you will not have to build a barn. This cow will be given to a family in need, in your name, through Heifer International. It will provide them with income and dairy products, and it will help them help themselves. Happy Holidays.”
It was signed, “Bill Gates.”
Rachel – aka NY1227 – responded on Reddit Gifts to give thanks.
“I want to start by giving a HUGE THANK YOU to Mr. Bill Gates for an amazing gift and secret santa experience,” she posted. “Bill- you ROCK (can I call you Bill?! I feel like we're friends now!). I am so very, very grateful for the amazing and thoughtful gift you have picked for me! Not only is the gift PERFECT from anyone, but I am sincerely very appreciative that you took the time to find something so fitting for me. I asked for a return address to send a thank you card to whomever my "Santa" was. I see that you did not provide one so I hope this serves as a proper thank you. Regardless, I'd still love to send a personal thank you if you want to give me your mailing address!!”
There was one last ironic twist to this story. Apparently Rachel had a specific gift in mind.
“Sorry for the apple ipad on my wishlist, that was really awkward,” she added in her thank you to Bill Gates. There is no word on what exactly Gates received from his still anonymous Secret Santa.
Launched in 2005, Reddit allows users to display news based on personal preferences.