This is amazing to hear that there are still "angels" like this in our country...Like his legendary namesake, Robin Hood 702 is gallant, fighting for the little guy. But where the mythical man relied on his archer's prowess and outlaw's guile, Robin Hood 702 banks on his remarkable gambler's skill and a smile from Lady Luck.
The mysterious do-gooder, whose 702 refers to the Las Vegas area code, has made a pseudonymous name for himself by donating his bounteous blackjack winnings to folks in dire straits.
In 2008 he helped the Kegler family, whose daughter Madison had a brain tumor, with $35,000 in winnings. He also gave $20,000 to Sandra Brown, who went into debt caring for her aging parents, and treated the crew of the Maersk Alabama to a Vegas weekend after they survived being taken captive by pirates.
Most recently he helped the Martinez family, who lost their Vegas home as dad Jeff battled Stage 4 cancer.
"He’s a really sweet man," said Robin Hood 702, who spoke with AOL News by phone.
Jeff Martinez, father of two, was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer in 2007. The cancer has spread to Martinez's lungs and adrenal glands.
He spends three days out of every 14 undergoing chemotherapy, but he still clocks 40 hours dispatching limousines at Ryan’s Express. Wife Marilou holds down two full-time jobs.
Three paychecks didn't cover the medical bills and $30,000 in back payments on the family home in Silverado Ranch, a planned community southeast of the city. The bank took the house in June, and the Martinezes moved into a small apartment.
The local fox news stationreceived a flood of viewer donations after covering the Martinezes' story. The station also tracked down Robin Hood 702 via one of his Merry Men, Dr. Richard Schulze, a retired herbalist
"I got a call from Fox News Las Vegas and they said, 'If you’re ever going to help anybody, this is the guy to help,'" Schulze told AOL News. The Merry Men took up the gauntlet.
Sin City's blackjacking hero showed up at the Martinezes' apartment, shadowed by television cameras and accompanied by Schulze and Maid Marian, aka Robin Hood 702's wife, Lady Greice.
"I was flooded with so much emotion, my legs were shaking," Martinez told AOL News. He had to lean against a wall for support. "I was shocked, surprised and happy. I almost couldn't bear standing up."
When on TV, Robin Hood 702 wears a mask of mystery, in the form of television graphics that obscure his face. But he dresses like your favorite uncle, sporting a baseball hat and blue jeans. His voice is gruff, his manner warm. He tears up and hugs Martinez and the family.
"Robin Hood's a guy with a lot of guts and a big heart," Schulze said.
Jeff agreed. "He holds you. He touches you. He connects with you." And when the cameras turned away, he took Jeff aside and had a one-on-one, taking off his glasses and looking Jeff in the eye.
"He’s not doing this just for show."
After meeting the recipients of his hoped-for winnings last week, Robin Hood 702 hit the blackjack tables, first falling in the hole but eventually winning tens of thousands, enough to pay the Martinezes' rent for a year, plus a two-year car lease and $9,000 worth of spa treatments.
Schulze contributed as well, providing not only financial support but a new TV, a piano, a computer, gift certificates to Whole Foods, and advice on nutritional and herbal approaches to cancer.
Robin Hood 702 and Schulze are successful and want to give back, but they also hope to motivate.
"I do this … not only to help people but to inspire people to never give up," said Robin Hood 702. "Just when you think every door has closed on you … God throws something in your way."
"A lot of Americans are hurting because of the economic problems we’re having," Schulze said. "When we’re having times like this, I think it’s important that we take care of each other."
Robin Hood 702 credits his mother with inspiring his philanthropic moonlighting.
"She instilled these values in me," he said. After she died, "this was the reason to go on."
The Martinezes have received a boost, but their problems aren't solved. Jeff Martinez continues to fight the cancer invading his body, and he and his wife will keep working.
"We’re trying to save up a little money … while I still have strength and the opportunity to put some money away to put my kids through college."
What Robin Hood 702 has bought them is space to breathe.
"I'm trying to cut back on my hours so I can relax, and we're going to start slowing down," Martinez said. "We’re going to try and spend more time together."
He and Marilou will travel to California for an Aug. 30 fundraising dinner at Santa Monica's Via Veneto with their newfound hero, already an honorary Martinez.
"The way he treated my family was like he was part of my family," Martinez said. "I'm just happy and blessed that I was able to meet him."
Here is a link to RobinHoods website, click here