Stories of Kindness from Around the World

The Best Way I Ever Spent $100

--by alluneedislove, posted Sep 10, 2009

A few months ago I decided to take my daughter on a little fun weekend trip to Melbourne (Australia). We enjoyed a beautiful day at St Kilda beach and, after hours of walking around, decided to sit down on a bench near Lunar Park to have a little rest. We noticed a duffle bag behind a bush but there was no one around so we assumed it must have been stolen and dumped behind the bush. There were clothes, books, university documents and lots of other bits and pieces in the bag. We found a wallet with some cards and ID but no cash.

The bag belonged to an 18-year-old girl. She had put a tag on her bag with her address and phone number on it, so I called to let the owner know I'd found her bag and arrange some way to return it to her. The girl's mother took the call. She was so relieved I'd phoned. She said her daughter had gone to the beach that day when someone stole her bag. The poor thing had to find her way home in nothing more than a bikini and towel and they lived in Kinglake, which is an hour outside of Melbourne. I told the lady we were leaving the next day to fly back to Queensland but I could leave the bag at the hotel where we were staying for them to pick up the next time they were coming to Melbourne. The mother said it might take a week or two, but she was so grateful and appreciative we were making such an effort to return the bag. Ten minutes later the father called to thank me again and said his daughter would be so very relieved to get her things back. 

We returned back to the hotel after carrying the bag around for the rest of the day. I thought about the poor girl and remembered times when people had stolen things from me and how bad it felt. I had an idea. I put $100 and a note in her wallet that said: "I'm really sorry your money was stolen so I decided to put a little cash back into your wallet to help restore your faith in human decency. All the best." 

A week later there were terrible bushfires in Victoria (the worst in Australia's history) and Kinglake was one of the towns which was almost completely destroyed. About 200 people lost their lives, hundreds were injured and many lost their homes. I remembered the girl from Kinglake and wondered if she was still alive. I couldn't remember her name and hadn't kept any of her details and I probably couldn't have contacted her anyway because her home was most likely destroyed. A few days passed and I just couldn't get her out of my mind and still wondered what must have happened to her.

Then it occurred to me to call the hotel to find out if anyone had picked up the bag. I was told the bag was picked up the previous day, which meant the girl had survived! I was so happy to know that and even happier that I'd put that money in her bag. It would have meant so much more to her since she most likely lost everything in that bushfire. It was probably the best way I'd ever spent $100...

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Readers Comments

Sydney wrote: What an incredible act of kindness. I know that a gesture like that must have meant so much to her! It certainly restores my faith in human decency.
sam wrote: I have tears in my eyes that is so lovely! She was obviously meant to go through losing her bag, to have it returned, to survive the fires. The world works in mysterious ways.
Danielle wrote: What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing (not to mention being so kind and generous in the first place! )
NanaHana wrote: Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. You may indeed have saved her life. That $100 may have got her family gas to get out of the fire zone. Or something akin to that. You were a most generous, kind, good angel. May tomorrow bring you a happy surprise. From the eastern shores of chesapeake bay, maryland to a great aussie. God bless.
Davinci PHARAOH wrote: Amazing & inspiring - it is so nice to help other people - it makes a person feel nice and good inside and outside - doing the will of god is great.
Marianna wrote: Thank you for remembering what it is to be a human being sharing this planet with others. We are one. And you are an exceptional one who inspires all of us.
nayana wrote:

Thank you for your doing and you thoughtfulness, our world is a better place with you in it. Xxxx
Cindy wrote: Beautiful beautiful - and it does indeed restore faith in humanity. I can't help but wonder if her losing the bag and traveling to retrieve it is what saved her life. Regardless of that happening, you are an angel.
Brightflower wrote: You are wonderful. Hug.
Stanley wrote: This is amazing,hmmm,? T of love is? T of god. Love is the therapy the world need †? b ? Heald. Let's love one another!

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