He didn't ask for a reward, but he's getting a big one.
At Upworthy, we are always looking to share the best of humanity and there are few things that reveal someone’s good character quite like when they do good when no one is watching. A recent story from Chula Vista, California, celebrates a teenager who went out of his way to return a woman’s lost purse.
According to NBC News San Diego, Eliana Martin was shopping at Ralph’s supermarket when she accidentally left her purse in a shopping cart in the parking lot. After she left the store, she realized she had lost her purse and began frantically canceling her credit cards.
Shortly after Martin left the parking lot, a recent high school graduate, Adrian Rodriquez, 17, found her purse in the cart. Rodriguez searched the purse to look for an identification card to find where she lived so he could return it to her. He then drove over to the address on the identification card, where Melina Marquez, Martin's former roommate, currently lives.
Marquez wasn’t home so Rodriguez left the purse with a relative. Marquez later saw video of the drop-off on the family’s Ring doorbell camera.
“I looked into the Ring camera, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. He’s such a young kid.’ I was like, ‘We need to find him and just give him a little piece of gratitude.’” Marquez told NBC San Diego.
Even though Rodriguez didn’t expect anything for doing the right thing, Marquez believes that he should be rewarded for his actions. So she organized a GoFundMe campaign that has raised nearly $5,000 for the 17-year-old.
“We think he deserved a great compensation and since a lot of people wanted to help for his good actions here we are,” she wrote on the campaign’s website. For Marquez, Rodriguez’s good deed was about more than just returning a purse.
“He was raise [sic] by amazing parents and this needs to be told,” she added. “Gives me hope for our next generation and also never judge a book by its cover.”
While the story of Rodriguez returning the purse is heartwarming, it isn’t all that rare. A groundbreaking 2019 study conducted in Europe found that when people find a lost wallet, they are more likely to return it if it contains money. Further, the more money in the wallet, the more likely it’ll be returned.
Researchers believe that people are more likely to turn in wallets containing money because they believe that it’s wrong to steal. "The more money wallet contains, the more people say that it would feel like stealing if they do not return the wallet,” Alain Cohn, the study’s lead author from the University of Michigan, told NPR.