A security guard in Hawaii has been rewarded by the public with a car after biking for miles to return a woman’s lost wallet.
Aina Townsend, who works at a Foodland grocery store in Kahului, found the wallet in a shopping cart and decided to return it as soon as his shift ended.
The 22-year-old pedaled his bike for 3 miles to the address of Chloe Marino, the owner of the wallet. The uphill journey took him an hour.
“You know, I lost a wallet before too and it’s the worst thing in the world,” Townsend told CNN. “I was just doing what I felt was the right thing to do.”
Marino was shopping in a hurry with her 5-month-old son when she dropped her wallet. She was “shocked” when Townsend came knocking at her door.
“I didn’t even realize I had lost it. He definitely went out of his way for a complete stranger which was so amazing,” Marino said.
Marino’s husband, Gray, said they offered Townsend a reward at the time. However, the stranger refused to accept it.
“He’s like, ‘No, no, no, I know what it’s like, I just wanted to return it before the holidays,'” Gray told KHON2. “He was humble, he was kind, and he went out of his way just to do a nice gesture.”
Determined to give Townsend a proper recognition, Gray took the “Aloha moment” to Facebook on Dec. 14. His post went viral, with many praising the Good Samaritan.
“Words cannot do this gentleman justice. He truly is what is right on our island and in this world,” Gray wrote.
Gregory Gaudet, one of Gray’s friends, set up a GoFundMe page for Townsend. They sought to raise $5,000 to give him a car for Christmas.
“When I put myself in his position after a long day of work and school, wanting to go home to see my family and go to bed, but choosing to ride my bike to the next town miles away instead to return this women’s wallet, I know this guy has a huge heart,” Gaudet wrote. “This shows the effect that one act of kindness and selflessness can have, and the way we can impact the world by repeating these actions.”
Townsend, who had commuted with his bike for five years, was amazed by the gesture. He felt like winning the Super Bowl after hearing about the car.
“It means a lot. It’s not only about having better transportation. I can do more stuff for my family now. That’s the bigger part of the picture,” Townsend told CNN.
The Foodland security guard received his 2017 VW Jetta just before New Year’s Day.
Gaudet, who raised a little more than $25,500, said the rest of the donations will be invested into mutual funds or a similar investment vehicle.
“I’m teaching Aina how to set up to start a nest egg for his future so he can learn how to build financial security by making that small amount of money grow into a large amount of money over time,” Gaudet wrote.
Feature Images via Gregory Gaudet