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74-year-old’s $10,000 heartwarming Christmas tradition

Anastasia Santoreneos
·1-min read
Michael Esmond's $10,000 gift to 114 neighbours. Source: GoodNewsNetwork
Michael Esmond's $10,000 gift to 114 neighbours. Source: GoodNewsNetwork

A Florida man has continued his Christmas tradition of paying his neighbours’ utility bills, this time forking out US$7,600 (AU$9,976) in the name of holiday spirit.

74-year-old Mike Esmond paid 114 of his neighbours’ bills, after he found out they were facing cut-off deadlines.

It’s the second year in a row Esmond has done this; last year, he paid US$4,600 worth of his neighbours’ bills to ensure they wouldn’t go without basic needs over the holidays.

Esmond told CNN this year was “more meaningful” however, given the pandemic had forced many of his peers out of work.

The 74-year-old owns a pool and spa business, and saw his business boom as many Americans were told to stay home.

“We’ve had a good year, and that’s why I want to share what I have with the people who need it,” he said.

Esmond said 114 of his neighbours would be receiving a holiday greeting card, saying their bills had been paid by his business, adding it’s “one less stressful thing” they have to worry about.

Since Esmond’s interview aired, he has reportedly been offered cash to give to his community from people in California, Chicago and Tampa.

He’s told them to spread the Christmas cheer in their own communities.

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