Homeless Man Brought To Tears After He Returned A Lady’s Purse

19 min

It was just a regular winter day when Evelyn Topper lost her wallet on the way to visiting her granddaughter. But little did she know, that her little wallet was actually just a tiny part of something much bigger at play.

After a homeless man found Evelyn’s wallet, she was left speechless and in tears by what he decided to do next. After explaining this unexpected situation to her family, they ended up coming up with a plan to show the man how they truly felt, leaving him speechless and in tears right back.

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Phone, Wallet, Keys, Mask

Let’s be honest, now-a-days, the last thing we all say to ourselves as we leave the house is “phone, wallet, keys, and mask.” And that’s exactly what this local Californian made sure she had as soon as she walked out the door for the day.

It was a lovely December day in the bay area of California when 80-year-old Evelyn Topper decided to spend some safe social distancing time with her granddaughter. But before seeing her beloved granddaughter, she had one stop to make first.Phone, Wallet, Keys, Mask

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Hot Beverages to Warm Their Bellies

With the dire times of quarantine, it can be a bit tricky to keep things exciting and fresh when you’re social distancing from your friends and family. With the holiday season right around the corner, Evelyn decided to spice things up and meet her granddaughter outside.

She wanted to treat her to some delicious hot beverages and so, on her way to spend some time together with, she drove over to her local coffee shop in San Rafael, Kamson Coffee, and ordered herself a decaf chai tea latte and a bubble tea for her granddaughter, Mikayla.Hot Beverages to Warm Their Bellies

Image via kamsoncoffee / IG

Smiling Through Her Eyes

Even with a mask on her face, you could tell in her eyes that Evelyn was excited for her order and couldn’t wait to see her family. With her wallet in hand, Evelyn happily paid for the warm beverages, and started to chat up the friendly barista while she makes her drinks.

It’s innocently cheerful moments like these that remind you that there’s nothing in the world that could ruin your day. Little did Evelyn know, that things were about to take a drastic turn.Smiling Through Her Eyes

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Calm Before the Storm

After paying for her hot beverages, Evelyn tossed her wallet in her inner vest pocket and continued on talking to the barista. Once her drinks were ready, she grabbed them, and continued on with her exciting family day.

However, by the time the sweet elderly woman got home, her wallet wasn’t there anymore. Instantly, what seemed to be an exciting and refreshing adventure out into the real world secretly turned out to be more like the calm before the storm.Calm Before the Storm

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Is Stuff Just Stuff?

We can try to convince each other all day about how stuff is just “stuff” and that “things” don’t really matter. But whether something has been stolen from you or you accidentally lost it somewhere, even the most positive of people can instantly feel a variety of negative emotions once they realize it’s gone—like feeling violated, confused, angry, or even disappointed.

Evelyn tried to stay calm as she looked around for her wallet, but she found it hard to settle down seeing as she lost so much more than just a wallet.Is Stuff Just Stuff?

Illustration. Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

So Much More Than a Wallet

Evelyn didn’t just lose something that can be easily replaced. Her wallet contained all of her valuables inside of it. Not only did she start to freak out about losing her wallet, she also was confused as to where it even went.

Clearly, she had the wallet with her when she left the house because she was able to pay for her order at the coffee shop. And she remembered putting it in her pocket afterward. So, what could’ve happened to it?So Much More Than a Wallet

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Was it at the Coffee Shop?

Evelyn’s first thought was to call the coffee shop to see if perhaps they had it in their lost & found. But alas, they hadn’t seen it.

Luckily enough, the coffee shop even had security footage of Evelyn paying for her beverages. But that stroke of luck quickly ended as the footage revealed that she had safely placed her wallet inside her vest pocket as soon as she paid, just as she remembered.

Little did she know that a phone call she would soon receive, was going to change everything drastically, yet again.Was it at the Coffee Shop?

Illustration. Image by rupert B. from Pixabay

“I Tore Apart My Car and My House”

It was unfortunate that the wallet wasn’t at the café. However, since the coffee shop hadn’t seen the wallet anywhere in the vicinities, that means that they were one step closer to hopefully figuring out where it was.

The wallet must’ve dropped somewhere between there and getting back home, so her next step was to search her car. “I tore apart my car and my house. I knew it must have dropped somewhere in the parking lot,” Evelyn further explained to The Washington Post.“I Tore Apart My Car and My House”

Illustration. Image by Scott Donald from Pixabay

“I Was Distraught”

The sweet elder grandma turned her car upside down trying to find her wallet, but still had no luck.

“I couldn’t find it, and what was in this wallet was everything. Everything I own. And I was distraught,” Evelyn emotionally explained to NBC Bay Area News.

Evelyn wasn’t exaggerating when she said that everything was in that wallet. She had cash, credit cards, debit cards, her healthcare cards, a roadside assistance card, and of course, her driver’s license.

She was at a loss for words about the whole thing, but it was what happened next that truly left her speechless.“I Was Distraught”

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Another Twist and Turn

The next day, Evelyn was disheartened and was ready to give up on the hunt. But right before she was about to end the search game once and for all, a random number appeared on her phone’s screen.

All of a sudden and out of nowhere, she got a mysterious call from an unknown number. As if this week wasn’t filled with enough heavy twists and turns, Evelyn hesitated before answering. She couldn’t believe who was on the other end of the phone, though.Another Twist and Turn

Image via Evelyn Topper / FB

Calls from Unknown Numbers

It’s always a bit scary when you get an unknown number calling you. Is it going to be a telemarketer? A prank-caller? Perhaps just a random friend or relative with a new phone number?

And while the whole “if it’s important they’ll leave a message” mentality is quite popular, sometimes, just getting over the fear and answering is the best way to scratch that itching curiosity.

So that’s what Evelyn did; she took the risk and picked up the phone.Calls from Unknown Numbers

Image via Evelyn Topper / FB

“Is this Evelyn Topper?”

Evelyn couldn’t believe what the person calling was telling her. As soon as she answered, a man with a deep voice kicked off the convo and mysteriously asked, “Is this Evelyn Topper?”.

As the man continued talking, he quickly explained that he had reached out to her since he had found a lost wallet inside of a dumpster, and it seemed to have been hers.

“I started screaming. I couldn’t believe it,” Evelyn shared with The Washington Post.

But what was this man even doing around the dumpsters behind the coffee shop in the first place?“Is this Evelyn Topper?”

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Meet Sean Currey

It turns out that the man who had found her wallet was a 57-year-old construction worker named Sean Currey. During the dire times of the pandemic, it was tricky for him to find work, and he had done some minor handy-man repairs and jobs here and there, but for the most part he was struggling.

But the thing is, that on top of this tough year, Sean actually had been homeless for the past five years. And the real reason he spotted the wallet was because he was doing a little bit of dumpster diving that day, since the shopping centers in that area get rid of a lot of stuff—like left-over pastries from the coffee shop.Meet Sean Currey

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To Use or Not to Use the Cards?

So it looks like finding the wallet was actually a happy accident, but what made the find that much more meaningful, was the reason Sean decided to reach out and return it to Evelyn.

When Sean found the wallet, there was no cash in it, but the credit and debit cards were still there. Without any hesitation at all, a friend of his suggested that they use the cards.

As appetizing as that sounded, Sean wasn’t sure what to do at first.To Use or Not to Use the Cards?

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Thinking vs. Doing

As a man with no home base for years, finding someone’s credit card could be like a goldmine—that is, if you choose to commit the crime of using it. But Sean had an inner voice telling him something else.

“I can’t say I didn’t think about it, but only for a second. Anybody in the position of being homeless and cold and tired and hungry, if they found a credit card, they’re going to think about it … But whether you’re going to act on it is two different things,” Sean revealed to The Washington Post.

So, Sean decided to reach out to Evelyn and return the wallet. But that was just the beginning of the story, though.Thinking vs. Doing

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Doing the Right Thing

When Sean found Evelyn’s wallet in the back alley dumpsters, he chose to do the right thing and return it to her. The kind-hearted homeless man was raised to always be a honest person and to do the right thing. And when he put himself in the wallet’s owner’s shoes, he knew just how much it means to reunite with something that you’ve lost.

“I would rather be cold and hungry and know that I did the right thing”, Sean emotionally explained to The Washington Post.

During their phone conversation, the honest man said that he could meet her whenever she was free, so Evelyn quickly got in her car to collect her wallet ASAP.Doing the Right Thing

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It’s a Mitzvah!

Evelyn wasn’t just excited about the beautiful act of kindness of this honest homeless man. Evelyn is Jewish, and that very day was the very first night of Hanukkah—the festival of lights and holiday of miracles. This made this “mitzvah” (the Hebrew word for “good deed”) all that much more special to her.

“In all of this flurry of conversation with Sean, I tried to explain to him what a mitzvah is … I said, ‘You don’t know what this means to me to get this.’ Yes, it’s a physical thing, but it’s the act itself,” Evelyn happily shared with The Washington Post.It’s a Mitzvah!

Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski from Pixabay

A Miracle on the Holiday of Miracles

The two met in a parking lot near the local shopping center where Sean spends his evening sleeping in his car. Sean happily gave the sweet 80-year-old woman her wallet, and in return, she provided him with a little bit of money to help him get through these tough, chilly times.

Evelyn was so pleased to get her wallet back, but she was even more pleased by how wonderful this man was to her. She truly felt like a miracle had happened to her on the same eve of the holiday of miracles! But there was still a whole lot more magic to spread.A Miracle on the Holiday of Miracles

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Sharing the Good News

Evelyn was so excited to be reunited with her wallet, and called up her family to tell them the good news. Her whole family was just as excited for her, and happy to hear about the good news and the act of kindness this bestowed on their grandmother.

But the person that was touched and inspired by this story the most waws Mikayla, Evelyn’s 11-year-old granddaughter. In fact, she was so touched by this honest and kind-hearted man, that she decided to pay it forward in her own way.Sharing the Good News

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Sean’s Struggles

Sean wasn’t always homeless, but from the past five years, 2020 might’ve been the toughest one for him.

With the cold and humid winter temperatures of the Bay Area, unfortunately Sean was hospitalized for pneumonia at the start of 2020, and it all seemed to go downhill from there.

During the second half of 2020, he had more troubles than any other time in his life, when it came to finding shelter, and was kicked out of government housing after a few months. Thankfully he had a car that he could at least stay in, but that’s not really the same thing as a home.

Little did he know that his luck was about to change.Sean’s Struggles

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Mikayla’s Motivation

Just like any other granddaughter, Mikayla was super excited and happy that her grandmother was treated with such kindness and that all her wallet and valuables inside of it were returned to it safely.

The preteen was so inspired by Sean’s personal story and the fact that even in the toughest of times, he still knew to choose right from wrong, that she came up with an idea to pay it forward in her own way.

And it was something that was going to be celebrated on another holiday.Mikayla’s Motivation

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Drive-by B-day Party

Just a couple of weeks after the wallet incident was another special family celebration—Mikayla’s birthday. The family had arranged a very special and cute celebration involving decorations in the front yard with a cute table and goodie bags to keep the festivities positive and safe with a social distancing drive-by party.

But Mikayla’s only wish this year was to pay it forward and help out Sean with his personal struggles and to help him get off the streets. So how exactly was she going to do that?Drive-by B-day Party

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Helping the Hanukkah Hero

Even before hearing about Sean and her grandmother’s inspiring interaction, Mikayla was looking forward to donating to a charity for her birthday. But as soon as she learned about Sean’s story and struggles, she came up with a way to raise money for him!

On the adorably decorated birthday table, Mikayla placed a picture frame with a photograph of Sean on the table with a little basket for the donations beside it.

Instead of gifts, the soon-to-be 12-year-old teen asked her friends and family to donate to her makeshift fundraiser, so that she could gift it to Sean, the family’s Hanukkah hero.Helping the Hanukkah Hero

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“I Chocked Up”

Before her birthday party, Mikayla and her mother, Vanessa, called Sean to make sure he was comfortable with this idea.

“I choked up and got a tear … I felt very humbled and special that they would go out of their way to do that for me,” Sean shared with The Washington Post.

Once they got the go-ahead, they were pumped to host the drive-by b-day party! It turns out that the drive-by donation party was a huge success, too! Mikayla couldn’t believe just how much money they had raised by the end of the day.“I Chocked Up”

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Meeting Up with Sean

December 22nd came around, and Mikayla was so excited that her drive-by birthday party fundraiser was such a hit! She and her mother were pumped to go visit Sean the next day, and present him with the funds that they collected.

“We raised $475 for him, and people are still calling and writing to us, wanting to see how else they can help,” Mikayla proudly revealed to The Washington Post.

She further revealed that seeing Sean smile was truly what made everything worth it. But Mikayla wasn’t done helping him out just yet!Meeting Up with Sean

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Turning to the Internet

Mikayla might’ve been motivated to help share the love and spread the magic, but the whole entire family was touched by Sean. In fact, he befriended the entire family, and they’ve all been focused on trying to help this incredible man get to a better place in life.

Mikayla and her mother decided to branch out and turn to one of the greatest developments of our time to help out with the cause—social media and the Internet.

The two heart-warming ladies opened up a special GoFundMe Page titled “Support Sean to Help Himself and His Community”.

Turning to the Internet

GoFundMe Goal

The three generations of ladies were ready to make a difference and help give their family Hanukkah hero the proper help and chance at a better life as he deserved. They wrote on their GoFundMe page that, “This isn’t about charity. It’s about Compassion, the highest form of LOVE.” How sweet!

They totaled out how much they would need to raise to make sure that Sean was able to get off the streets, and that other struggling homeless people in the area would get the aid they needed as well, and set the amount goal to $75,000. And you won’t believe how much they’ve raised in one month alone!GoFundMe Goal

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The Short Term and Long Term Plan

The family decided that the funds will be focused on different goals—a short term plan and long term plan.

The GoFundMe page states that their short term plan is to make sure that Sean can get placed in a “temporary housing situation that keeps him safe and warm”, while the long term goal is “to partner with Sean to create a sustainable row of tiny houses for the San Rafael homeless community at large, using his design and construction experience.”The Short Term and Long Term Plan

Illustration. by photoweges / Depositphotos

Raising over $$50,000

Each day, people keep donating and as of February, 2021, they’ve raised over $50,000. Talk about incredible!

Not just that, but it looks like there’s progress with getting Sean a place to stay.

“He is currently on the waiting list to receive one of the fifty (50) coveted Marin County Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers which will assist him with a more permanent solution,” the family wrote on the GoFundMe page.

At the start of the story, Evelyn was filled with all sorts of negative emotions about losing her wallet, but now she’s filled with only positive ones about the whole experience.Raising over $$50,000

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Changing the World, One Small Step at a Time

It’s things like this that show us that maybe there really is a reason for everything. And this beautifully inspiring story just goes to show that doing the right thing and paying it forward truly goes a long way.

No matter who you are, how old you are, or where you’re from, at the end of the day, we are all humans and deserve to be treated with respect and love, and there’s nothing wrong with helping out a stranger.

“I was just so touched. It was refreshing, knowing that people her age want to help … I believe I have a good heart. Maybe, if I keep doing the right thing, more people will too, and it will change the world, in a small way, for the better,” Sean confessed to The Washington Post.Changing the World, One Small Step at a Time

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