Man Poses as Homeless, Gives Away $1K Iowa businessman surprises those who helped out panhandler By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jan 2, 2014 2:45 PM CST 42 comments Comments Stock image (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Drivers in Iowa who rolled down their window to give a few bucks to a homeless guy asking for help on Christmas Eve got a surprise gift in return. The "homeless" man was actually Des Moines business owner Jonnie Wright, and he gave his donors a sealed envelope with either a $10 or $100 bill inside along with a note, reports KCCI-TV. "I am not homeless or destitute or without a job," it read."I am here to give thanks for the many blessings in my life by paying them forward and honoring you and others who give." In all, Wright gave away 50 envelopes for a total $1,000, then donated the money that he had received to a local homeless shelter, he wrote in a Facebook post. He tells the Huffington Post that the experience was "transformative," especially given the national publicity it has received. "I never ever imagined that it would have the reach that it did, but it seems to have touched something in people," he said. "I can't even explain it."