Hey, just thought I'd drop by and say the dollar thing has nothing to do with mormons.
And also, vote Scoates.
I think it is probably just a coincidence that both of the people are Mormon. In N.J., where I know very few Mormons, it seems that every time we go to visit a friend of my parents, they feel compelled to give one or both of my children some token of affection. If they don't have any little gift readily available, it will often be a dollar, or even a quarter. I'm not crazy about it either, especially because they're usually elderly and I figure they probably need that dollar a lot more than we do. My instict is to refuse and we usually try to, but I also try to be sensitive to the fact that it makes them feel good to do it, and of course my kids are delighted and give them a big smile and a hug, which makes their day. I usually let them spend it on a treat for themselves. We always write a thank you note...but yeah, it's happened to my kids many times- usually by really sweet, elderly, Italian people, and once by this little Swiss lady who couldn't speak English.
One more vote that this doesn't have anything to do with being Mormon. I'm LDS, and have been LDS for 30 years and in 3 states, and I've never heard of anyone giving money to children. I'm almost wondering if they're both Italian or Greek, or from some ethnicity where sneaking a buck into someone's pocket is culturally common. If not, it's just, as said, that Mormons like kids, and everyone knows a nice shiny quarter will freak out a kid and teach him savings and discipline and whatever... much more good than I would have gotten from keeping it.