Teen returns lost wallet with thousands inside to veteran, only to get text from his mother
When a teenager found a veteran’s lost wallet, which contained $2,300, he immediately returned it. A short time later, he received a text from his mother.
Sometimes the simplest acts of kindness can prove to be the most rewarding. This story of a 2015 teenager remains a testament to the kindness in our hearts.
Tommy O’Connor, a senior at Irvington High School, was leaving a 7-Eleven in Fremont, California, when he found himself in the middle of a “What would you do?” moment. After buying a soda at the convenience store, the teen noticed a wallet on the floor while walking back to class in Irvington.
When he picked it up and looked inside, he saw $100 bills – lots of them. Although Tommy did not count the money at the time, it was later determined that the wallet contained $2,300 in cash.
Looking at the wad of cash, Tommy was faced with a choice between trying to return the wallet to its rightful owner or going shopping.
Tommy had a huge reason to be tempted by the money. Tommy’s family had to live on a fixed income. Even the day before, Tommy did not have enough money to buy lunch. That amount of money could have helped his family a lot.
It is a situation where most of us have a hard time maintaining our integrity. Fortunately, Tommy stuck to his principles and decided that he would find the rightful owner of the wallet. The teenager immediately handed it over to Ana Gomez, his paraeducator.
Gomez searched through the wallet to find the identity of the owner. She counted the total amount of money and also found a veteran’s identification card. The veteran’s identification card was located in the wallet, revealing the name of its owner and that he was a military veteran.
Tommy O’Connor and Anna Gomez consulted Irvington Principal Sarah Smoot, who helped make contact with the vet to return the wallet.
The meeting took place, with the vet revealing that the money was for his rent, and as such invaluable to him. He rewarded Tommy with $50, and thanked him for his kindness.
The school had informed his mother, Sherry, directly via text message about the teen’s actions. As such, she texted her son before school was over for the day:
“I am very proud of you, son. Mrs. Kalra called me. Wow, your [sic] one in a million. Love you to the moon and back.”
Tommy Ron’s father Ron had similar praise for the teenager’s kindness:
“With us living month to month, it’s a big chunk of money and I’m so proud of him that he did that. I’m just proud that he did the right thing, and I hope all my kids would have done the same thing.”
Tommy has set a priceless example.
Tommy’s actions lend credence to the idea that the world can still be a good and just place, where people help each other not because they have to, but because it is the right thing to do.