Lady Sees Crying Man Forced To Throw Package In Airport Trash. What She Digs Out Is Heartbreaking

It’s one of the most popular forms of travel across the United States today: flying. But despite the speed and convenience it offers, getting through airport security is a hassle many of us have learned to dread.

Still, even with the prohibitive rules we’ve gotten used to, when one Florida woman saw a fellow air traveler being forced to throw away a mysterious parcel.

There was just something about the way the man’s reluctance to part with the package that resonated with her. After he was made to throw the wrapped item in the trash, the woman retrieved it with the intent of finding him and reuniting him with his cherished property – but her friendly act would end up being only the start to an unbelievable story.

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

At Line at the Airport

Ivelise Hernandez – a Tampa, Florida native – was on her way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Her boyfriend, Rico Bankston, had just driven her to the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport, and was keeping her company while she waited in line to go through security.

Ivelise didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary – it was just a normal day at the airport – until she looked to the front of the line, and saw a man being forced to throw away a package he had intended to bring on board with him. Ivelise’s heart went out to him, and she decided to act. Little did she know that that decision would end up changing her life forever.At Line at the Airport

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

Holding Up the Line

Rico had decided to keep Ivelise company while she waited to go through security – but what they had both expected would be a short wait in line soon became an unusually long delay.

It seemed the inspection was taking much longer than usual.

A man was attempting to convince the airport security staff to let him take a parcel with him to the plane, and their argument was holding up the rest of the line.

Finally, security pulled the man aside – and Ivelise and Rico could hear just how important it was for him to be allowed to take the parcel with him.Holding Up the Line

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians/ Pixabay

Restricted Items

Airport security, it seemed, had an issue with something in the carry-on bag of the man at the front of the line. Clearly, one of the items he had packed was considered “restricted,” and not allowed on the flight.

It wasn’t clear what the package’s contents were, but the man was pleading with security to let him take it with him.

What could possibly be in that package that would make a man willingly enter an argument with the TSA?Restricted Items

Image via Wikipedia

Stricter Measures

Today, getting taken aside and asked to remove seemingly mundane items from your bag at the airport may seem like a fairly regular occurrence – but it wasn’t always like this.

Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Transportation Security Authority – or TSA, for short – have changed the security procedures in all flights throughout the United States.

Because of the much tighter security measures enacted since, many items that most people would consider innocuous have become restricted – and the item the man was trying to bring aboard was a huge red flag for the TSA agents screening him.Stricter Measures

Image by djedj/ Pixabay


Since 9/11, the sight of air travelers throwing away inconspicuous items like tubes of toothpaste and nail clippers that they’ve forgotten in their bags has become a common one.

Even though the items may sometimes seem completely harmless, there’s a good reason for each one of them being restricted.

But while most of the items people are required to throw away usually don’t hold any sentimental value, it seemed whatever the item the man in front of Ivelise and Rico was deeply meaningful to him.Irreplaceable

Image by Ryan McGuire/ Pixabay

Looking for Alternatives

The man in line tried to plead and bargain with the TSA agents, asking if there wasn’t any way the package could be transferred to the airport’s lost and found instead of thrown away – but the agents coldly replied that that wouldn’t be possible.

Despite the man’s clear emotional distress, they instructed him to deposit the package in the nearest trash bin.

Despite not knowing what the contents of the package were, Ivelise felt like she couldn’t just stand by and let that happen.Looking for Alternatives

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

Thrown in the Trash

Despite the man’s heartbreaking pleas, the TSA agents remained unflinching.

Finally, with tears in his eyes, the man took the package and sadly threw it into the trash.

Visibly shaken and sad, he continued to board his flight.

The line had cleared up and it was now Ivelise’s turn to go through security – but before she said goodbye to Rico, she asked him to do something for her.Thrown in the Trash

Image by RJA1988/ Pixabay

Helping a Stranger

Ivelise knew that she couldn’t take the parcel from the trash herself, since whatever was inside it would keep her from boarding the flight – but Rico wasn’t flying anywhere.

Ivelise hugged and kissed Rico goodbye, and then made a very odd request.

She asked him to discreetly go through the trash bin the man had thrown his parcel into, and to see what caused all the commotion.

It was more than just curiosity. Ivelise wanted to see if they could help the old man out.Helping a Stranger

Image by Rico Suave Bankston/ Facebook

Going Home

While Ivelise couldn’t risk being seen rifling through the trash – she didn’t want to raise any red flags for the TSA agents – Rico didn’t have any flight to catch. He also didn’t have to go through security, so he would be free to take whatever he found in the bin back home without any intervention.

Taking the parcel from the bin, he waved goodbye to his girlfriend and drove back home to Tampa.

What would he find inside when he finally got home?Going Home

Image by Rico Suave Bankston/ Facebook

An Uneasy Flight

While Rico was driving home to Tampa, Ivelise was uneasy on her flight to Pittsburgh.

She couldn’t stop thinking about how the man in the security line was treated by the TSA agents, and wondered what he had been carrying that merited that kind of treatment.

As soon as the plane safely landed, Ivelise switched her phone on, and called Rico.

What Rico told her about the contents of the package made her realize she had to do something to make things right.An Uneasy Flight

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

The Restricted Item

Rico wasn’t sure what to expect when he opened the package.

What would he find there? Perhaps a knife with sentimental value, or some other dangerous object?

As he unwrapped the parcel, he had to blink twice to make sure what he was seeing was truly the reason for the drama he had witnessed at the airport. It was a snow globe.

The little trinket seemed pretty commonplace, and Rico couldn’t understand why a grown man would cause such a commotion over such a small thing – but when he flipped it over, it became quite clear.The Restricted Item

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

A Special Order

The snow globe, Rico soon realized, wasn’t your run of the mill souvenir shop trinket. It had been specially commissioned, and contained two photographs: the first, of a little girl, and the second of an elderly couple.

“We love you Katie. Nana and Papa 1/25/16” was lovingly engraved at the base of the bauble.

Realizing this was a gift for the granddaughter of the man at the airport, Rico and Ivelise immediately agreed something had to be done.A Special Order

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

A Difficult Task Ahead

Ivelise and Rico both agreed they didn’t want to just throw the globe away like the TSA agents had instructed the man to do. It was clear that the contents of the parcel they had dug out of the trash were deeply meaningful to the man, and the Florida couple decided they would do whatever it took to track him down and return the globe to him.

But that was easier said than done.A Difficult Task Ahead

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

Getting Creative

Ivelise and Rico were resourceful and motivated – but their chances of finding the man were still slim.

Sure, they had a photo of the man and his wife, but no name or address. The only thing they could be certain of was that the man had passed through St. Pete-Clearwater Airport on that February morning.

If they wanted to track him down, they realized they’d have to get creative.Getting Creative

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

The Search Begins

The first thing Ivelise decided to do in her search for the man the globe belonged to, was to turn to social media for help.

Ivelise wrote a post on Facebook describing her side of the story, and made sure to provide as many details as she possibly could.

Other than that effort, however, there wasn’t much else she could do. She had no other leads to go on. Still, Rico and Ivelise were determined to see this through, and to turn that man’s tears at the airport into tears of joy.The Search Begins

Image by Free-Photos/ Pixabay

Not a Social Media Influencer

As Ivelise wrote her Facebook post, she reminded herself to keep her expectations low. Sure, she had friends on Facebook, but she wasn’t exactly a social media influencer, to say the least.

She and Rico were cautiously optimistic, but she didn’t expect her post to break the internet. At best, she thought, she might reach 200 people or so.

She was entirely unprepared for what happened next.Not a Social Media Influencer

Image by Con Karampelas/ Unsplash

Going Viral

Ivelise had hoped Facebook would help her track the man she was looking for down, but she wasn’t holding her breath.

But as soon as she pressed the “post” button, her query was out of her hands, and wisped away down the internet’s tumultuous currents.

Within a week, Ivelise’s post, the photos of the snow globe, the engraved message – they were all shared over 48,000 times.

Her story was exploding all over the social network – but still, would even 48,000 shares be enough to help her find the man she was looking for?Going Viral

Image by Ivelise Hernandez-/ Facebook


Ivelise’s heart beat faster and faster as the “share” count on her post kept climbing – but despite the massive exposure her post was receiving, it wasn’t clear at all if it was actually getting her closer to her goal.

The more her story was getting shared, the more frustrated Ivelise was getting. What good were all those “shares” if they weren’t getting her in touch with the man she was looking for?

One day, however, Ivelise made a breakthrough.

She had been contacted by a person who wasn’t related to the person she was looking for – they weren’t even a friend. In fact, their connection to the man was circumstantial at best. But it would be enough to crack the case.Progress

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

Things Remembered

The person who had contacted Ivelise was an employee at a gift shop called “Things Remembered.”

And while she had nothing to do with the particular snow globe in Ivelise’s possession, she did know what model and make it was – and was able to contact the headquarters of the company who manufactured the globes in Ohio, and to ask them if they could pinpoint the specific order with the engraving Ivelise had shared.Things Remembered

Image via Imgur

Finally, a Name

The worker at Things Remembered was able to return to Ivelise with a name: Linda Modry.

Linda had ordered the snow globe for her five-year-old granddaughter, Katie.

It was Katie’s dad, Michael, who was supposed to deliver the gift – and who turned out to be the man Ivelise and Rico had seen at security.

Now it was just a matter of getting in touch with him.Finally, a Name

Image by Linda Modry/ Facebook

Full Circle

It had taken a store clerk from somewhere in the Midwest, an Ohio company’s headquarters, the determination of Ivelise and Rico from Florida, and an entire social network of millions – but finally, they had managed to piece together the identity of the owners of the globe.

All they had to do now was to put all the pieces together and come full circle.

But this story still has a few more twists up its sleeve.Full Circle

Image by N./ Unsplash

Right in Their Own Back Yard

Finally, Ivelise and Rico had a name: Linda Modry. And as it turned out, she lived in their area, not far from their home!

With permission from headquarters, the Things Remembered employee was able to provide Ivelise with Modry’s phone number.

It was around this time that local news had caught wind of the fantastic story, and were eager to capture the moment on camera.

But despite her great efforts, Ivelise still didn’t know just how great of an act she had done.Right in Their Own Back Yard

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook


Linda Modry, with a news crew in tow and despite a tropical Florida rain storm, walked up to Ivelise Hernandez’s front door.

The two women were connected by a simple object – and a big act of kindness – but neither one of them knew what to expect from the meeting.

Finally, Linda knocked on the door, and waited for it to open.Reunion

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

Hugging It Out

With a huge smile plastered across her face, Ivelise opened the door for Linda.

Their connection was immediate. After a few seconds of hesitation, the two women fell into each other’s arms and hugged for a long time.

Linda offered Ivelise a bouquet of flowers, and the two women teared up. The moment was emotional.

Ivelise was filled with joy, content in the knowledge that she had done a good deed and helped out a stranger in need.

But, she would soon find out, she had done much, much more than that.Hugging It Out

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

Perfect Timing

It wasn’t just that getting an engraved snow globe is a pricey process. It was also the fact that the timing, as far as Linda was concerned, was incredibly special.

Her granddaughter Katie’s birthday was just around the corner, and Linda had hoped the snow globe would get to her in time for the big day.

If Ivelise hadn’t been there to save the gift, Katie’s birthday wouldn’t have been missing an important present from grandma.

But there was more to it than that.Perfect Timing

Image by Tania Van den Berghen/ Pixabay

The Phone Call

Linda had ordered the snow globe with nothing but love and kindness in her heart – and that love and kindness had been returned by Ivelise.

But it wasn’t just Linda who wanted to thank Ivelise for her selfless act.

Linda wanted Ivelise to feel just how much of an impact she had made, and so, she took out her cell phone and dialed a number, with Ivelise standing right by her side.The Phone Call

Image by Linda Modry/ Facebook

Calling Michael

On the other side of the line, Ivelise could hear the voice of a man.

It was Michael, Linda’s son. It was him whom Ivelise had seen at the airport on that fateful day.

As it turns out, when Ivelise and Rico had seen him, Michael was just returning home from visiting his parents in Florida.

Linda and her husband had given Michael the present to take back to his daughter in Ohio – and Ivelise’s timing couldn’t have been better.Calling Michael

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

Deeply Meaningful

The snow globe was inscribed with a special date on it: January 25th.

But despite what you might think, this wasn’t Katie’s birth date – at least, not exactly.

It was, in fact, the date Katie’s parents had adopted her on, and marked the occasion of her joining the family. As far as Linda and her husband were concerned, the globe was more than just a loving gift from grandparents to granddaughter: it was a way to reaffirm their adopted grandchild’s place in their family.

As Ivelise listened to the voices coming over from Linda’s phone, she realized it wasn’t just Michael that she was hearing. On the other side of the line, far away in the distant Ohio, Ivelise could hear Katie.Deeply Meaningful

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

The Only Thing To Do

While Ivelise’s act was exceptional, as far as she was concerned, she had done the only thing she could do.

In an interview, she said that her mother had raised her to be good to others, and that if circumstances had been reversed, she hoped someone would have done the same for her.

Linda, now aware of the security restrictions concerning the globe, vowed to pack it more carefully and to put it in her checked luggage, rather than in her carry-on bag.

She was going to Ohio to deliver the present to her granddaughter in person.

“People are basically really good,” Linda summarized the experience, “and she’s just exceptional.”The Only Thing To Do

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook


After the story was over and done with, Ivelise returned to Facebook to share it with the thousands of people who had helped her reach Linda, Michael and the rest of their family.

Ivelise posted the story on the page “Love What Matters” and the feedback she got for it was incredibly warm.

People had nothing but praise for Ivelise, and were really happy to read the heartwarming story.Afterglow

Image via Facebook

Life After the Globe

Two years after Ivelise’s ordeal with the snow globe, and she is now expecting a child of her own. We can’t think of anyone more deserving of becoming a parent, and believe that if she shares the same values that drove her to help Linda and Michael with her child, they’d be more than fine in life.

We’re also sure she’ll teach her kids not to carry snow globes on flights!Life After the Globe

Image by Ivelise Hernandez/ Facebook

Snow Globe Regulations

So why wasn’t Katie Modry’s snow globe allowed through airport security in the first place?

As it turns out, security regulations for snow globes state that snow globes larger than tennis balls aren’t allowed to be carried on board by passengers.

Snow globes smaller than tennis balls are allowed aboard a plane, but anything larger would have to be stowed away in the hold.

But if you think that’s strange, wait till you hear about what other items are restricted on planes!Snow Globe Regulations

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Confiscated Passenger Property

Airport security have a very strict policy when it comes to liquids, and so even canned goods containing liquid can’t exceed 100 milliliters.

In fact, that’s the reason snow globes are banned; they contain liquid.

But they aren’t the only items to be banned for this reason; over the years the TSA has confiscated items like shoe insoles, fishing rods and even tent pegs, all for security reasons.

But if you think you’ll absolutely have to carry a snow globe aboard a place in the future, don’t worry – new screening technologies being developed today might make the need to prohibit liquids on planes redundant.Confiscated Passenger Property

Image by Paweł Czerwiński/ Unsplash

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