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Braunschweig's Robin Hood leaves envelopes of cash to the needy

A mystery benefactor has been leaving blank white envelopes containing cash and newspaper clippings to good causes in Braunschweig in Germany.
German robin hood 12 03 05 0Enlarge
So far at least 190,000 Euros (US$251,000) has been sent to various charities and good causesin Braunschweig, Germany. (Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images)

A mystery benefactor has been leaving packets of money to charitable organizations and needy individuals in Braunschweig, Germany.

Blank white envelopes containing bundles of bank notes have been arriving at various addresses in the Lower Saxony city since late last year, the Daily Mail reports.

So far a total of at least 190,000 Euros (US$251,000) has been sent to a robbery victim, a hospice, a kindergarten, various charities and the family of a handicapped boy.

The BBC says there are numerous theories about who might be behind the handouts.

"I like to think of it as a modern-day Robin Hood," the hospice manager Michael Knoble is quoted as saying by the ABC.

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The pastor of a local church who found 10,000 Euros (US$13,000) behind a tack of hymn books, Hans-Juergen Kopkow, speculated that there may be more than one donor and that copycats have been inspired by the original, according to CBC.

Others speculate it may be a lottery winner or someone who has received a large inheritance.

"Whoever it is, I would like to thank them. It's strange for us not to know who he or she is because we would like to invite them in to have a cup of coffee," Knoble reportedly said.

One common factor, the BBC says, is that a cutting from the Braunschweiger Zeitung accompanies most of the donations.

The newspaper's editor, Henning Noske, said they had decided not to put reporters on the case to uncover the donor's identity: "He or she wishes to remain anonymous and we have to respect it. So it's anonymous, anonymous, anonymous as far as we are concerned."

"It has become a real life fairytale," he added.

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