After A Single Man Passed Away, The Locals Discovered The Astounding Secret About His Life

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Throughout the world, there are countless people who – whether by choice or not – go through their lives alone without partners or children. Alan Naiman was one such solitary individual before he sadly passed away from cancer in January 2018. Following his death, however, the local community uncovered an unbelievable secret about his existence.

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A resident of Seattle, Washington, Naiman worked at a bank before making an interesting career switch in the late 1980s. He decided to train as a social worker, you see, after which he joined Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services. But the changes in Naiman’s life didn’t end there, as the singleton also looked for further opportunities outside of his new position.

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Yes, Naiman took on additional work at a few other jobs while plying his trade in the social work game. But despite certainly keeping busy, the former banker was an incredibly private individual. Naiman was apparently known for being extremely frugal, too, spending very little money on himself. It seems as though the man may have had a very good reason for keeping his cards close to his chest, however.

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That’s because Naiman’s older brother, Daniel, suffered from a developmental disability, with the social worker looking after him as a result. And in the opinion of one of Naiman’s pals, said responsibility truly shaped his life. “Growing up as a kid with an older, disabled brother kind of colored the way he looked at things,” Susan Madsen told the Associated Press in December 2018.

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What’s more, as a community worker, Naiman dealt with a number of young people living with disabilities, too, and this in turn apparently fueled his love of kids. Although the Seattle native didn’t have a wife or girlfriend with whom to start a family, then, he did become a foster parent for a time. And it seems as though this experience had a profound effect on the man.

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“The kids [who] came into care got into [Naiman]’s heart,” Mary Monahan, one of Naiman’s fellow social workers, told BBC News in December 2018. Another aspect of Naiman’s life that his friends and peers picked up on was his frugality, which apparently led the man to make some curious choices. For instance, Naiman opted against buying new footwear; instead, he fixed his old, worn-out shoes using tape.

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But Naiman’s thrifty ways didn’t stop there. He also purchased many of his outfits from Costco and made his money go further by collecting coupons and hunting for bargains. What’s more, when treating a pal to a bite to eat, the former foster parent would often choose a cheap option such as a junk-food restaurant.

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And yet curiously, Naiman’s economizing nature was by no means a reflection of his financial status. The man was reportedly earning just under $70,000 a year at work, in fact – and that’s not to mention his other jobs on the side. But one of Naiman’s old banking buddies, Shashi Karan, lifted the lid on the youth worker’s seemingly contradictory relationship with cash.

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“Saving money was sort of a game to [Naiman],” Karan revealed to CNN in December 2018. “He would brag about how he had a whole day out and didn’t have to spend a single cent.” Even so, in 2013 Naiman briefly brought an end to said game following a heartbreaking personal tragedy.

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You see, Naiman’s brother, Daniel, sadly passed away that year. And the loss seemingly prompted the Seattle native to dip into his financial reserves to buy himself a present: a flashy vehicle. Yet even with this splurge, Naiman appeared to be holding back with his spending.

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“It’s a nice little sports car, but it’s not a Mustang or a Corvette or a Porsche that [Naiman] easily could have afforded,” Karan pointed out. That said, the new ride was certainly a far cry from the social worker’s prior worn-out vehicles. In addition, Naiman would take budget road trips instead of vacations – practically all of which he would embark on alone.

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It’s perhaps understandable, then, that even those closest to Naiman may have felt as though they never fully knew him. Karan, for instance, was friends with the man for over 30 years, and yet there are still areas of his life that remain a mystery. “I don’t know if [Naiman] was lonely,” the former banker’s colleague told the Associated Press. “I think he was a loner.”

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So, it’s perhaps fair to assume that the events that followed Naiman’s cancer diagnosis came as a surprise to those around him. Knowing that his days were numbered, you see, the community worker started to put his life in order – and one group were certainly taken aback by his actions. Treehouse, a Washington-based organization that helps young people in foster care, received a payment of $5,000 out of the blue from Naiman. And, understandably, the donation caught a lot of people off guard.

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Jessica Ross – in charge of development at Treehouse – certainly noticed Naiman’s gesture, anyway. She also revealed that the donations they receive rarely go above a few hundred bucks – a total that Naiman’s payment blew out of the water. “That’s a big deal for us,” Ross told BBC News. “We were surprised by that.”

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However, the biggest revelation was yet to come. You see, after Naiman sadly succumbed to his cancer in January 2018, his peers made an incredible discovery about his life. It turns out, in fact, that there was a colossal secret Naiman had managed to keep hidden from practically everyone he had known.

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Remarkably, despite Naiman’s penny-pinching ways, he had actually possessed an enormous fortune – one in in the region of $11 million, no less. And as it turned out, the man had raised said sum in a number of smart ways. The former banker had made several investments, for one, using the money that he had earned at work. Meanwhile, he had also received a sizable amount from his parents, according to his friend Karan.

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In fact, Naiman had apparently inherited millions of dollars from his late dad, which had added nicely to his growing personal fortune. In an interesting twist, though, Karan was one of only a select few who had known about the youth worker’s vast sums of money. And the old friend was able to shed some light, too, on why Naiman had felt such a reluctance to splash his cash.

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“[Naiman] was just that kind of guy that he couldn’t just spend the money,” Karan told CNN. “It was just in his nature to save the money and put it aside. I think he always knew that he was going to leave his money to charity.” Indeed, Naiman had previously shared his charitable intentions with yet another of his buddies – although he hadn’t let on just how hefty the donation would be.

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“I think everyone was shocked – I mean really shocked – that [Naiman] had so much money to give away,” his colleague Monahan said to BBC News. And although, she added, Naiman had previously suggested that “people will be surprised at the amount” he had to donate, perhaps no one had anticipated just how rich the man actually was. “Yeah, people were, I’m sure, very surprised [at Naiman’s wealth],” Monahan continued. But where exactly did all of his cash end up?

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Well, as per Naiman’s will, his $11 million fortune was divided up and given to different non-profit associations. Among those to benefit from his extreme kindness were Make-A-Wish Alaska & Washington, Childhaven and the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. And then Naiman had left Treehouse another sizable donation – one that far surpassed the sum they had received prior to his death.

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This time, Naiman gifted Treehouse around $900,000 of his money, which understandably stunned everyone at the organization. But as it turned out, there was a poignant reason behind Naiman’s generosity towards the nonprofit. During his stint as a foster parent, you see, the social worker had taken his children to Treehouse’s facility. And while there, they had picked up some of the free toys on offer.

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Once again, Ross was left speechless by Naiman’s donation. “Our organization was just overcome with that kindness and that love,” she told BBC News. “I don’t want the number to outweigh the experience of being a part of this, [which] was really about the way he wanted to leave the world.”

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Naiman’s money, it seems, will be used to extend Treehouse’s charitable efforts even further for the youth of Washington. And Ross couldn’t help but sing the man’s praises even further. “The frugality that he lived through – that he committed to in his life – was for this,” she told the Associated Press. “It’s really a gift to all of us to see that pure demonstration of philanthropy and love.”

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These organizations aren’t the only ones to have benefited from Naiman’s fortune, though. Yes, the ex-banker donated a giant $2.5 million to yet another cause: the Pediatric Interim Care Center (PICC). Apparently, Naiman had worked with the nursery a few years before he died. And much as with Treehouse, he hadn’t stopped at just one generous donation.

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In fact, PICC highlighted the extent of Naiman’s kindness in a heartfelt tribute on its website. “We first became aware of [Naiman]’s generosity last fall, when we received a $10,000 donation from him online,” the statement read. “Thinking that large amount might be a mistake, we called him to make sure he had entered the right number of zeros!”

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After reassuring PICC that the figure was indeed correct, Naiman had promised that he would be sending the charity even more money down the line. What’s more, the care center had subsequently received some touching information about Naiman. “He later wrote us a letter telling us about a connection to PICC that had started many years ago,” the organization explained in its online tribute.

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“It went back to a night many years ago when [Naiman] was a new social worker at the Department of Social and Health Services,” PICC’s statement continued. “[He was] desperate to find a home to place a fragile baby that had been brought into his office late that evening.”

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And thankfully Naiman had received the help that he had needed from Barbara Drennen, PICC’s founder. “It was after midnight when he called Barbara Drennen, asking her if she could come to his office in Seattle to pick up this little one,” the tribute went on. “To his great relief, Barbara came and took the baby.”

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However, the connection between Naiman and Drennen hadn’t ended there, as the man’s social work had often brought him back to PICC. “Later, there were other times when [Naiman] needed help for a baby,” the post continued. “And Barbara and Pediatric Interim Care Center were always there for him and for the babies. He never forgot.”

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Then PICC revealed exactly how Naiman’s $2.5 million donation was going to be spent. Thanks to the kindhearted man, the center was able to purchase some new transportation with which to pick up infants from the local hospitals. Yet this isn’t the only way in which Naiman’s selfless gesture has helped towards the charity’s long-term survival.

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“When [Naiman] died in January, he left a portion of his wealth to care for the babies at Pediatric Interim Care Center,” the tribute continued. “[Naiman]’s kindness allowed PICC to pay off the mortgage on our building, giving babies a safe place of their own for many years to come.”

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The care center’s moving message concluded by hailing Naiman’s big donation – and even bigger heart. “We are so grateful to [Naiman] not only for his legacy, but also for the life he devoted to children,” the statement read. “We hope you will join us in honoring his memory.”

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Drennen – clearly touched by the money that Naiman had left her charity – paid her own personal homage to the man, too. And as such, she revealed that while she and Naiman had indeed crossed paths in the past, the two had never properly talked face to face – something that the charity founder seemingly regrets deeply.

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“We would never dream that something like this would happen to us,” Drennen told the Associated Press in December 2018. “I wish very much that I could have met [Naiman]. I would have loved to have had him see the babies he’s protecting.” Nor is Drennen the only person to have praised Naiman after his remarkable gesture came to light.

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Yes, Naiman’s decision to donate his millions has gone on to draw a big response online, with several media outlets covering his story. Since British newspaper the Daily Mail published the Associated Press article on their website, for instance, the piece has generated close to 150 comments from readers. One of those messages arguably stood out above the rest, however.

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“We, as a society, do a lot of judging, and I’m including myself [in that],” wrote Jennifer Marlowe in the Daily Mail’s comments section. “We tend to judge someone like [Naiman] as something of an oddity. The way he’s portrayed as [a] loner in the article is proof [of that].”

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Then Marlowe made an astute observation about those who may typically be perceived as unusual or strange by others. “I’ve learned to be a lot less judgmental as I’ve aged,” the commenter continued. “And [I] have realized that the people we think are different are usually some of the best people you could meet.”

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“I knew a man just like [Naiman], and he left behind a sizable amount for charity as well,” Marlowe added to her thoughtful message. “There are saints among us indeed. Be kind to one another. We’re all stuck here together; let’s make the most of it. R.I.P.” Wise words indeed.

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So, what of the rest of Naiman’s money? Well, Karan has revealed that some of the community worker’s cash had gone to a couple of other worthy causes, with one of the fortunate recipients being the Disabled American Veterans organization. In addition, Naiman donated a sum to the church that his parents used to frequent, too.

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And given what we now know about Naiman’s huge heart, it probably comes as no surprise to hear that the man was truly excited at the prospect of helping others even after his time finally ran out. “‘My gift is going to be bigger than [these charities’] annual budget[s]. It’s going to blow them away,’” Karan recalled Naiman having said before his passing. In that respect, the generous man certainly put his money where his mouth was.

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