HOULTON, Maine — Police Chief Joe McKenna didn’t quite know what to think when a person walked into the police station late Wednesday and handed him an envelope full of money.

“This individual is a local business owner who wishes to remain anonymous,” the chief said Thursday. “They said they had a very successful year and wanted to give back to the community and asked us if we could help.”

McKenna said the individual had read about random acts of kindness in other communities and wanted to do something similar for people in Houlton. The person also was inspired to make the cash donation after reading about a string of home burglaries in the Shiretown over the past week.

In presenting the envelope with $250 in it to the chief, the giver had only one stipulation for McKenna to follow in deciding who would receive the funds.

“The individual said they did not want the money going to anyone with a history of drug issues,” the chief said. “The person had heard about the stories of local burglaries and just wanted to do something nice for those in need right here in our community.”

As of Thursday morning, Houlton police had distributed $50 bills to some families they knew were experiencing financial hardship. The remaining money was to be given out by the end of the day to help brighten Christmas, the chief said.