Alan Naiman was known for an unabashed thriftiness which veered into comical, but even those nearest to him had no inkling of this chance that he quietly gathered and the previous act that he had planned.
The Washington state social worker died of cancer this year at age 63, leaving most of a surprising $11 million estate to children’s charities that help the poor, sick, handicapped and abandoned.
The sum baffled the beneficiaries along with his best buddies, that are lauding Naiman since the anniversary of the death approaches in January.
That’s because the Seattle guy patched up his sneakers with duct tape, sought deals at the grocery store deli at closing time and shot his best buddies out to lunch at fast-food joints.
Naiman, who died unmarried and childless, adored children but also was intensely private, scrimping, working and investing extra jobs to stockpile money that he rarely spent himself after seeing how unfair life would be for the most vulnerable children, his friends say.
They believe a lifelong dedication to his older brother that had a developmental disability influenced Naiman, though he rarely spoke of it.
The brother died in 2013 the same year Naiman splurged on a sports car – a modestly priced Scion FR-S.
A former banker, Naiman worked the past two decades in the nation Department of Social and Health Services, handling after-hours calls.
He saved and invested enough to create several millions of bucks and also inherited millions more from his parents,” said Shashi Karan, a buddy from his banking days.
Thrilled when he finally qualified for senior discounts, Naiman purchased his clothes from the grocery shop.
He loved automobiles, but for the most of his life, drove vehicles and seemed to enjoy the solitude and savings of solo road trips, friends say.
Karan realized how little he understood of the other facets of his longtime friend’s life.
Many of the organizations benefiting from Naiman’s gifts stated they didn’t know him, though they’d crossed paths.
He made $2.5 million into the Pediatric Interim Care Center, a personal organization in Washington state that cares for infants born to mothers who abused drugs and aids the children wean off their dependence.
The team used some of what was its biggest donation ever to pay off a mortgage and buy a new vehicle to transfer the 200 infants it accepts from hospitals every year.
Naiman had called the center about a newborn whilst working for the state more than a decade before, and its founder, Barbara Drennen, showed up at the middle of the night to get the baby.
Naiman gave $900,000 to the Tree-house foster care organization, telling them that that he was a foster parent years back and had attracted kids in his attention to the group’s popular warehouse, where wards of the state can select toys and necessities at no cost.
Tree-house is using Naiman’s cash to expand its college and livelihood counseling statewide.
“It is really a gift to all people to observe that pure demonstration of philanthropy and love.”