FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – He’s a social media influencer with six million followers, helping people find free giveaways.
But it’s what “The Freebie Guy,” as he’s known, does with his finds – and inspires others to do – that makes him a CBS 11 Super One.READ MORE: Southwest Airlines Jets Flying Again After Being Grounded Due To 'System-Wide Error'
“I always say, clearance-hunting is like a scavenger hunt,” said Kendall Motzny.
Indeed, it’s a game of skill that gave him a full-time job and, now, a national following on social media.
Last December, Motzny played the role of Santa’s helper at Dwell with Dignity.
“I’m always shopping. I especially look for toys,” he said. “I pick them up, save them, and during the holidays season, I like to give them away.”
It wasn’t always a game. Motzny grew up in Corsicana with a single mother.
“To say that we were poor probably would be an understatement,” he said.
Christmases were sparse at best, but his imagination sparked joy in an unlikely place.
“I learned that if you call 800 numbers, you could ask for things,” he said. “I would call 800 numbers anytime they had an informercial, like, ‘Can you send me a catalog?’ It was anything to get mail, and I started getting free stuff in the mail.”
Decades later, he realized he could do the same online. He started sharing couponing, sweepstakes, and clearance sale tips, and The Freebie Guy was born.READ MORE: Opposition To 'Pride Month' Proclamation In Rowlett Could Lead City Council To Limit Mayor's Power
“I don’t really think of myself as an influencer,” he said, “I just have millions of friends, and we hang out, and we go clearance shop together.”
Now he uses his influence in a different way: to give children everything he didn’t have and much more.
“My main goal is to make sure that no one else has to experience that,” he said.
“He just showed up here. We were like, ‘It’s a Christmas miracle!'” said Susan Wood of the Hope Center for Autism in Fort Worth.
It’s one of the many local nonprofits who are the recipients of his bargain finds – by the truckload.
“We are thrilled when people like Kendall come into our life. He has blessed us enormously,” she said.
Motzny said he is the one blessed in return, not only because of the gratitude but because his generosity has sparked a chain reaction across the United States.
“There are so many other people following me who are doing the exact same thing in their local community because of this. That is truly amazing,” he said.
Something beyond what the little boy from Corsicana ever dreamed.
“I think I say every, single day, ‘Is this really my life?’ And I’m lucky that I’m able to do it.”MORE NEWS: 2 Drown After Rescuing Children From Texas' Guadalupe River
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