A community in British Columbia is feeling warm and fuzzy after a homeless man’s generosity inspired residents not once but twice over the past two weeks. First, the unidentified man with little to his name found a suitcase with $2,000 in it on a street in Victoria, but turned over the cash to police believing it was “the right thing to do,” authorities tell the CBC.
As the story spread, Mike Kelly of website Victoria Buzz began fundraising to help the guy out and donations flooded in, totaling $5,000—including $255 donated by kids who’d opened a lemonade stand, CTV News reports. But finding the Langford man in his 60s proved difficult. “It’s not easy tracking down a person of no fixed address and no phone, but I kept trying,” says officer Alex Bérubé. “I was touched by the story.”
After hours of searching on and off the clock, Bérubé finally found him on Monday and told him of the money that was his if he wanted it; he didn’t. “Instead of asking how to collect it, he asked me how to donate it” to a local homeless shelter, Our Place, and other food service providers for homeless people, Bérubé says.
Officers told the man to think over his decision, but when he visited a police branch thenext day, his choice was the same. In a handwritten letter, he described his intentions for the money—though he also made one small, additional request: He asked for a job. Kelly says he plans “to do everything I can to help find him a job that fits his personal situation” and is soliciting help.
This story originally appeared in Newser: