It might pass for one of those Christmas movies back in the 1930s and 40s, the ones that made us feel pretty good about it all.
But this one is true. Real Life.
It begins with an act of generosity gone bad and ends–happily–because a man down on his luck was determined to do he right thing.
The setting: Nanaimo, British Columbia last week.
Trinda Gajek, a resident of Salt Spring Island, pauses while shopping after encountering a young homeless man who she said “wasn’t looking too good.”
Gajek empties the zippered change pocket of her wallet and gives the young man everything inside.
She forgets the change pocket also containes what she calls her diamond “good mother ring,” a gift from her now-grown children.
Realizing her mistake the next day, Gajek goes on Facebook with a plea for help.
Local media pick up the story, a homeless man named Raymond Ahlstrom goes into action, scouring his community.
“He totally took on my cause. He did not need to do that,” Gajek told the Canadian Press news agency.
“He made it his mission to go into his community and get my ring back.”
And get it back he does, finding the young man, who had placed the ring in his water bottle for safe keeping.
He happily turns the ring over to Ahlstrom, who transports it to Gajek.
End of story? Not quite.
Along with her thanks, Gajek gives Ahlstrom a cash reward, something she also plans to offer to the young man who kept it safe.
“He was a very polite young fellow, very appreciative. And I really did feel that if he could find me, he would return the ring to me. I just had a really good feeling about him.”
Moral of the story?
“I think everybody’s kind of paid it forward as this positive spirit Christmas story,” Gajek says. “It was just a really nice way to move into the Christmas season, for sure.”
With files from CP, CBC, National Post