Local Kris Kringle spreads goodwill in town

Local Kris Kringle spreads goodwill in town

A Story by hyancynthstofeedthysoul

This story about my philanthropy appeared in the middletown Journal.


There is a Kris Kringle living in the Middletown area.

OK, maybe not that Kris Kringle, aka Santa Claus, but certainly someone who believes that it’s better to give than receive.

Franklin Dean, who goes by the alias Kris Kringle, doesn’t wear a red suit, but he does have white hair and a beard. And instead of a reindeer-powered sleigh, Dean drives an older model Plymouth minivan.

Dean, 73, is usually found parked in front of the Family Services office on Central Avenue a few times a week passing out $1 coins. He said he’s been doing that for about 5 years in the various places he’s lived.

“I give them what I have,” said Dean, who has taken a “vow of poverty.”

“Money is like chicken crap, it is no good unless you spread it around,” he said. “I decided the money I got is of no value to me, and I’d rather give it away than let my kids fight over it when I’m gone.”

Dean said he gives to other people because they need it. And for him, it’s a way to feed his soul.

“We’re only here to help those who can’t help themselves,” he said.

Dean said he’s “never had to do without” and that he gives away more than half of his Social Security check each month.

He said he’s received anonymous donations in the mail and simply cashes the check or money order and gives that money away, too.

He said he comes downtown whenever he has money, usually on Wednesdays, and stays as long as the money lasts. The first five people he meets each day get a $1 coin.

The Garrison, Ky., native came to the Middletown area about 10 years ago to be closer to his grandchildren, who live in Monroe. Dean has worked for the U.S. Census Bureau, and he’s planning to do that in 2010 as well.

“I’ve done everything and nothing,” he said. “I’ve raised Standardbred racehorses, been a bartender, worked in hospitals and in labor pools.”

Dean said he has lived in Jefferson Twp. and Dayton in Montgomery County; Tampa, Fla.; “and all over Indiana before the boats came in.”

While Dean has been around town for about a decade, he described himself as “like smoke.”

“I go where the wind blows me,” he said. “I’ll know when the time comes when I’ll need to pick up and go.”

copyrighted by coxohio.com.


© 2010 hyancynthstofeedthysoul

Author's Note

Maybe others wile be inspired to share.

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Your story came to mind at this time of year. I hope all is well with you, your son and family. I know you probably have been giving to those in need. Take care!

Posted 12 Years Ago

Hey Frank! haven't heard from you in the longest!
Whether this story is autobiographical or not isn't the point...although, of course your protagonist DOES bear a certain subtle resemblance to yourself, or at least to your avatar.
What DOES matter is the awareness that one is MORE liable to be generous if POOR (by the world's standard, anyway), than if he is rich. His ability to identify with the humiliation, to say nothing of the hunger, is vastly greater. Sort of a "Widow's Mite" mentality, wot? And the pity is, the small donators get no press, as they are loath the stand, manically grinning behind a five-foot-long check, so that their largess may be generally known. But how much more fulfilling is that brief nod, that taut smile, that swiftly-clenched handshake, that barely detectible moistened eye, than all the blaring headlines that ever were, no?

Posted 13 Years Ago

Hi Frank, glad to see you are still helping out.

Posted 13 Years Ago

Very cool. This is a nice article and what you do is great. Even in these hard times it's important to remember to be altruistic.

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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4 Reviews
Added on July 6, 2010
Last Updated on July 6, 2010



middletown, OH

A long and eventful life I have lived one. While stationed in Germany I visited every country in free Europe and the British Isles. In the U.S. 48 of the 50 only missed Alaska and Hawaii. Have worked .. more..