We all like to save money and make shrewd savings where we can, but not many of us could manage to accrue a secret $11 million stockpile from our thrifting. One social worker from Seattle, however, did just that, all so that he could leave his enormous estate to children’s charities.
Alan Naiman had a reputation for scrimping and saving beyond what was considered normal. He would repair his shoes with duct tape, head to the supermarket just before closing to snap up last minute deals and dine out with his friends at fast-food restaurants.
Comical as this may have been for his friends and family, Naiman’s real motives behind his thriftiness were much more serious and heartfelt. He spent his life as a banker and Washington state social worker and had long planned to continue his work of helping children even after his death.
According to a report by Global News, when Naiman died of cancer last year at the age of 63, he left behind his $11 million estate to children’s charities that help the poor, sick, disabled, and abandoned.
Friends of the generous good Samaritan say he was stirred to help vulnerable children after seeing how unfair life can be for them. Naiman was a very private individual, and he died unmarried and childless.
He loved children and intentionally led a frugal life, investing and working extra jobs in order to squirrel away money that he would later spend on others.
Friends also think the social worker was highly influenced by his lifelong devotion to his older brother, who had a developmental disability. His brother died in 2013, a year that was marked by Naiman’s uncharacteristically extravagant purchase of a sports car.
The former banker earned a salary of $67,234 from the state Department of Social and Health Services, where he worked handling after-hours calls. He also took on several side jobs and inherited millions of dollars from his parents.
Many of the charities who received money from Naiman did not know him personally. The Pediatric Interim Care Center inherited $2.5 million from the estate, their largest donation to date. The center is a private organization that cares for the babies of mothers who abuse drugs, helping wean children off their dependence. Naiman’s donation went towards paying off a mortgage and purchasing a vehicle to transport the babies from hospitals.
Although the charity had no personal connection with Naiman, their paths had crossed once before, more than a decade ago, when he had called the center to come and collect a newborn child.
Barbara Drennen, the founder of the charity and the lady who met Naiman and the newborn all those years before, said, “I wish very much that I could have met him. I would have loved to have had him see the babies he’s protecting.”
Another beneficiary of the bounteous estate is the Treehouse foster care organization, which received $900,000. Along with his donation, Naiman told the organization that he had been a foster parent years before and had brought the children to use the group’s facilities.
Treehouse’s chief development officer remarked on how Naiman’s actions were a “pure demonstration of philanthropy and love,” a statement which is echoed not only by his friends and beneficiaries, but also by everyone who hears the story of this incredible frugal philanthropist.