What do Life of Pi, Lord of the Flies, and Robinson Crusoe all have in common? This was the clue Tweeted this morning by @HiddenCash, the wealthy San Franciscan who’s been starting scavenger hunts across the country by hiding cash-filled envelopes and posting hints on Twitter. The formerly-anonymous benefactor and Robin Hood of Twitter, Jason Buzi, has even spawned a string of copycats.
The answer? Castaways. The latest collection of cash-filled envelopes were deposited along North Avenue Beach, Chicago, just north of Castaways Bar and Grill. As with every other hunt, the tweet sparked a frenzy in the area. Fernando Fernandez, who found $60 after spending the morning hunting for money, told NBC Chicago: “It’s been a great time.” He added: “I’m definitely going to help people out now when I get the chance,” he added.
The @HiddenCash Twitter profile describes these cheeky acts of giving as “an anonymous social experience for good” and encourages people to “pay it forward” by giving the money to someone else in need. You have to give the guys some credit — this is the most fun, novel way I’ve seen a millionaire promote goodwill. As Buzi explained in an interview with Anderson Cooper: for most people, it's less about the money and more about the joy of the hunt.
Perhaps this is the skeptic in me, but I'd like to see more people #payingitforward. There's been a lot of coverage concerning the hunts themselves and the uncovering of the masked man, but little about how the chain of goodwill is continuing. This excludes what Buzi cited as the most personally-moving story, where, upon finding an envelope of cash, a 14-year-old girl cried and promised to send it to her sick grandmother. It'd be nice to see a few more tweets about how people are carrying the kindness on in such a manner.
@HiddenCash confirmed today on Twitter that he’ll be “crossing the pond and heading to EUROPE,” this Saturday. Let’s hope England are more vocal about how they #payitforward.