Lately, residents of a small Spanish village have been surprised by envelopes of money that are left in their mailboxes or under their doors by an anonymous benefactor. So far, 15 people in the tiny town of Villarramiel in the province of Palencia in northern Spain have received envelopes with up to 100 euros in cash, Mayor Nuria Simon told AFP.
Locals are unsure why the beneficiaries have been singled out. Some of the residents have also received messages addressed to them. “We're all bewildered and expectant as we don't know where this money comes from or who the benefactor is,” Simon said. The town, which has only 800 residents, have named the unknown humanitarian, the Robin Hood of Villarramiel.
The recipients have included a widow living with her son, several couples with small children, older couples, and middle-aged couples without kids, none of whom have any link between them other than being neighbors. Also, those chosen weren’t necessarily richer or poorer than other residents.
Other neighbors, unfortunately have received envelopes with no money, but with drawn hearts and simple notes. The envelopes containing money enclosed varying amounts, between 40 and 100 euros. Despite the apparent good intentions of the local Robin Hood, some neighbors are distressed as they wait to see what happens next.
The envelopes have appeared both in the morning and in the evening. Some of the recipients have gone to the police to report the gifts or to the bank to check that the bills are real, which they are. Some of the beneficiaries have donated their gift to the local church. The police, however, have no reason to investigate since no crime has been committed, Simon added.
The town of Villarramiel, founded in the tenth century, is known for its leather goods and its cured meats. Part of the town is located in a nature park that promotes the conservation of local bird species. The town was struck by tragedy in 1776 when a stone tower fell at the local church, killing more than one hundred parishioners. At the end of August, the town celebrates a local festival that commemorates its patron saint, Saint Bartholomew. One of the events held is a running of the bulls through the streets of the town.