Cops Give Man $1,000 Gift After He Loses Envelope with Cash To Buy Presents for Kids in Need

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Misplacing our belongings: We’ve all done it at some point in our lives. Whether it’s leaving a phone, a wallet or some other valuable piece of property at a store or restaurant, we’ve all felt that instantaneous panic and dread when we realize something is missing.

Many times, we hear about upstanding citizens who turn in the items they find, even if it would be tempting to cut and run — but not everyone is so honest.

Vincent Rodriguez of San Bernardino, California, had just sold his truck and was planning to use $1,000 of the money to buy toys for underprivileged kids in the neighborhood he grew up in as an act of Christmas charity.

He accidentally left the envelope containing the cash at the checkout of a DD’s Discounts store, and when he went back, it was gone.

No one ever turned it in. “It would have been nice to get it back, but, you know, it’s all right,” he told CBS Los Angeles.

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Fortunately for him (and all the kids who were now short a Christmas present), the Inland Division California Highway Patrol heard about Rodriguez’s situation and decided they could make things right.

“A young man from San Bernardino, just trying to do good in his community, and I thought that was just … just great,” said Steve Carapia with the CHP. “A punch to the gut to know that he wasn’t going to be able to carry it out.”

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So they gave Rodriguez $1,000 in Walmart gift cards, enabling him to complete what he’d started.

“Rhino Power Washing Toy give away tomorrow at 2601 Del Rosa Ave San Bernardino 92405 at Plant Organix,” Rodriguez posted on Facebook on Dec. 21.

“Please message to sign up for giveaway. # of children and ages and gender those selected will receive a message this evening we have limited amount I apologize if we can’t help everyone.

“Anyone interested in donating toys clothing or food please contact me for information on where you can drop it off. Thank you to everyone who has been supportive and help make this possible Happy Holidays. Please share.”

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He posted photos of the Walmart shopping spree he went on. He had three carts full of toys at the register, and thanks to the CHP’s generosity, they’re being handed out on Dec. 22.

“Sometimes you might not have enough or feel like you do,” he said, “but there’s always somebody who’s got less.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking