While a group of Oregon residents was waiting to apply for the state's $500 emergency relief checks outside a credit union in Hillsboro, a man reportedly handed out cash to strangers. The man was apparently driving a luxury car and did not identify himself to the people waiting. One person said the act of kindness helped restore their faith in humanity during a difficult time. The extra funds offered help for unemployed Oregonians after the federal government failed to pass any new legislation, including a second stimulus check.
The man drove up to the OnPoint credit union and first appeared to be annoyed that people were blocking the ATM, Kathryn Davidson told KOIN. The people waiting then told him they were all hoping to apply for emergency help. "Really, you guys need help?" the man asked, Davidson, recalled. She said yes, and the man suddenly broke out a "stack of $100 bills," Davidson said. "He said distribute this down the line. He just said here take it and he didn't ask for any thanks; he just drove off."
Davidson, who worked with armed transit services, told KOIN the man passed her about $10,000. "He actually broke the band off of it, so that means it was $10,000. At least $3,000 — maybe the whole $10,000 — was just distributed to everyone in line," she explained. The man did not say who he was and did not ask for thanks before he left.
Everyone wanted to thank the man and tell him he is a "saint," Davidson said. "There were Black people, white people, men, women, Catholics and people with a Jewish star necklace — handed out to all of us, didn't matter who we were — women in burkas and every manner and walk of life are here and he helped all of us."
On Wednesday, Oregon officials announced a $500 emergency funding program to help 70,000 unemployed residents impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. By Friday, all the checks were claimed, KPTV reports. "Financial institutions who are participating in this unique public-private partnership will have a final funding allotment cap for the day and will not be accepting new walk-in applications once they reach the allotment cap," the officers of the Oregon House speaker and Senate president said. "Previously scheduled appointments will continue through the end of the month, but new appointments will not be made."
Some people waited in line for hours outside credit unions across the state. Jesse Coy told KPTV he waited several hours because he filed for unemployment months ago and has not received a single unemployment check. Applicants had to prove their finances were affected by the pandemic, had a pre-tax monthly income of $4,000 or less, and still waiting for unemployment benefits.