Hello. This is me, Jason Buzi. I am one of the principal people behind @Hiddencash. I wanted to remain anonymous, but last week I was "outed" by the media, beginning with the tabloid TV show "Inside Edition", which apparently thought it was the biggest "news" story in the world. They put me ahead of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Anyway, since I have been outed, I want to say a few words, and set the record straight on some things.
1. Hiddencash is not only me. We are a small group of friends. No one person could do this. I'm not that talented :)
2. I am not a real estate "tycoon", but a moderately successful investor.
3. I know what it's like to struggle financially. I have been there too, more than once. If you are there, please don't lose hope. Never lose hope.
4. This is not about money. It has always been about a fun way to bring people together and give back, and put smiles on people's faces. Nothing more, nothing less.
Those who look for cynical or selfish motives behind every action, would do well to search their own hearts.
Many of my friends and associates from the business world do not understand why I/we are doing this. I would turn it around and ask why they are NOT giving back. I have gotten many emails from people saying if they were in a good financial position, they would love to give back this way. But sadly, have hardly heard from anyone who IS in a good financial position (and I know many), and wants to give back...
I have definitely enjoyed doing real estate deals, and plan to continue to do so. I love many aspects of it.
But making money isn't everything. There is a joy and satisfaction I have gotten from @Hiddencash, that real estate could never fulfill.
To have a positive impact on so many lives, to hear back from so many of our supporters - how it brightened their day, how it inspired them - has just been moving and gratifying on a very deep level.
This only started a few weeks ago, when a small group of friends in San Francisco got together for dinner, and started coming up with ideas to do a fun activity that would bring people together for a good time. The idea was to give back to the community.
After several ideas were dismissed as being too complex, the idea for Hidden Cash was born.
This was never a business idea or a promotion. We all have other businesses or jobs.
Since my name came out, some in the media have pulled out every negative piece of dirt they could find, going back almost 20 years. Interestingly, they did not discuss my philanthropic activities such as my volunteer work with a library in West Africa, or tutoring kids in the inner city, or working with refugee families, or donating to various charities.
Being an entrepreneur and creative person, I have made and tried to make money (often unsuccessfully!) in a variety of ways over the years. But I have also been giving back my whole life, with time or money or both.
Although @Hiddencash is a way to bring people together in a fun way, we are not in a position to send money to individuals. Please, please make no more requests like this. Hiddencash is a scavenger hunt, with relatively small cash prizes. We are not billionaires. We cannot pay your rent, your school fees, for your car, your house, etc. We are getting so many requests like this, and we simply cannot deal with it. None of us are in the Forbes 400 or even close.
Also, please respect the privacy of those involved, which right now is publicly only me.
As for me, I am no better or worse than the average person. I am neither a saint nor a villain. I have done well, and wanted to give back in a fun way. So did a few of my friends. We encourage all who are able financially to do small acts of kindness and generosity. And everyone can be kind. It doesn't cost a thing.
We love the stories like the 14 year old girl in Burbank who was crying tears of joy when she found our envelope, and is sending money to her sick grandmother in Mexico. Or the man who said every day he comes home from work, sits with his wife and son in front of the TV, and they watch the evening news and get depressed. But since we have started, they have something positive to watch and smile about. Many others have written similar things.
I hope the media realizes people have a hunger for something positive, not just negative and sensational stories, but something uplifting. The headlines are often dominated by tragic and depressing events, showing the worst of humanity. But these are the exception, not the norm. There is so much good in the world and in humankind. Small everyday acts that will never make the news.
It's hard to believe, but it's only been three weeks since we came up with this idea, and we now have over half a million followers here on Twitter. We are so excited and grateful for our followers and fans.
We plan to keep growing this movement, and spreading happiness to more places around the world.