Between what's reported in the 24-hour news cycle and what we see get shared on social media, it feels like everyone hates each other and we're on the brink of the end of civilization. But, there are still a lot of good people in the world, and one of them showed up at the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center in Evansville on Monday to give their annual holiday donation. Who is this person? It's a great question that no one, not even longtime employees of the Rehab Center, knows the answer to.

Easterseals Mystery Donor, "Pete," Leaves Another Large Cash Donation

For the 32nd consecutive year, a person who calls themselves, "Pete," made their way to the Rehab Center and hid another cash donation on the property. And just like the previous 31 years, he manages to do it without anyone knowing until after the deed is done. See, Pete likes to make a little game out of it by disguising it as a Christmas gift and hiding it somewhere on the Rehab Center property then calling the Center after he's left to give them some clues on where to find it. How he (?) has managed to do this for all these years without being caught on security cameras is beyond me, but here we are.

And by the way, each year's donation is given in cash, so there's no paper trail to find out who the mystery giver is. Pretty clever, Pete, pretty clever.

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This year was no different. After getting the call, Easterseals staff members followed Pete's clues and found a gift bag at the base of a tree near the back corner of the parking lot.

Easterseals Rehabilitation Center
Easterseals Rehabilitation Center
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Inside the bag was a red, Christmas-themed toy truck that had ornaments and lights stuffed into its bed. As employees dug underneath the ornaments, they found Pete's donation.

Easterseals Rehabilitation Center
Easterseals Rehabilitation Center
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While you can't see it all in the picture above, that is 30 - $100 bills. In case you don't feel like doing the math — that's $3,000.

Pete's One Stipulation

There is one catch to Pete's donation, but it's one the staff at the Rehab Center happily agree to. Each year Pete asks that the money is used to buy Christmas gifts for the disabled children from disadvantaged families served by Easterseals.

Also, just as he does every year, Pete's gift included a handwritten note that said the same thing the last 31 notes have said, "You will hear from me again! - Pete."

Easterseals Rehabilitation Center
Easterseals Rehabilitation Center
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In any other circumstance, that would sound a bit ominous and perhaps a little scary, but that's obviously not the case here. The note is actually welcomed by the staff at Easterseals, because they know it means they can expect more generosity from their mystery donator and friend.

There's a part of me that wants to know who Pete is and if the Pete who left the cash on Monday is the same Pete who did it the first time in 1990. What if the original Pete is no longer with us, but someone who knew him/her/them is carrying on the tradition in their name?

With that said, there's also part of me that doesn't want to know and hopes we never find out. Obviously, whoever it is isn't looking for any special recognition. They're just a person who is putting the needs of the kids ahead of their own personal glory, and I respect the hell out of that.

So, whoever you are, Pete, keep up the great work, and thanks for showing the rest of us that even in what feels like dark times, there are those among us still providing a little light.

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