A couple of weeks ago, we told you about “Finder Keepers” a woman finds an envelope with $770 cash--lost by a frantic holiday shopper on the floor of a toy store--and takes it directly to the police.
When police return the money to the grateful shopper, the Good Samaritan thinks the story is over.
But it was just beginning.
After The Boston Globe ran an article identifying her, Anne Marie Weineck told us, her mailbox was soon overflowing with cards and letters from people across the country who had read about her good deed. Some sent cash, saying they wanted to “give something back” to her. Many thanked her for “paying it forward.”
“I didn’t know what the phrase meant,” confessed Ms. Weineck, an unassuming, 54 year old widow. Her kids explained it, but she couldn’t understand what the fuss was about.
Honestly, we asked her, hadn’t she been even the slightest bit tempted to keep the cash when she first found it? “Well,” Ms. Weineck said and paused, “I wanted a new TV. But I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I’d kept the money.”
She wouldn’t even allow herself to keep the small gifts of money she was receiving in the mail—she insisted on sharing them with the woman who had originally lost the $770. “If it wasn’t for her dropping the money in the first place,” Ms. Weineck said, “none of this would have happened.”
Ultimately, in the whimsical loop of paying it forward, an anonymous reader sent Ms. Weineck something that would not fit in her mailbox—a new HDTV. Ms. Weineck is grateful. But this Good Samaritan made one thing clear to us: she’s a Reluctant Samaritan.
“I think I got too much attention!” she said. “If I ever find money again, I’m taking it to the police station and running out the door!”