When Hunter Shamatt lost his wallet, he had little hope he’d get it back, certainly not with interest. But he did.
Hunter was on the way from South Dakota to his sister’s wedding in Las Vegas earlier this month when he left his wallet on a Frontier Airlines flight. It held the 20-year-old’s ID and debit card, as well as $60 and a signed paycheck. Hunter was “fearing the worst that everything was gone,” his mother Jeannie Shamatt wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. Luckily, the man who found it, Todd Brown, is a believer in paying it forward. He mailed everything back, and then some. Brown included a note that read: “Hunter, Found this on a Frontier flight from Omaha to Denver — row 12, seat F wedged between the seat and wall. Thought you might want it back. All the best…PS. I rounded your cash up to an even $100 so you could celebrate getting your wallet back. Have fun!!!”
That’s right. While others may have snatched the cash, Brown gave the kid some more. Just ’cause.
The father of five found the wallet while reaching to put on his seatbelt during his Nov. 8 flight. He decided not to give it to the flight crew. “I thought about it, but I just wanted to make sure he got it back,” Brown told Yahoo Lifestyle. “It had some cash in it and a signed paycheck, and a debit card, so I wanted to make sure he got it back.”
When he landed in Denver, he and his wife did a little digging. “My wife looked him up on Facebook and found him in about 39 seconds, so I sent him a message there.” He also perused Hunter’s profile and came up with the idea to give him a little boost.
“I saw he was just a kid, 20 years old, he had a paycheck in there, so I figured, ‘Well, he’s doing his best to make ends meet,’ but I was 20 once, and that’s a lot of money for a kid,” Brown reasoned.
Hunter never responded to the Facebook message, but since Brown had his ID, he could still send it back. “I was putting it together to send via FedEx, and when I sent it off, I wanted to have a little fun, I wanted him to have a little fun,” he recalled. “I imagined what it would be like to get your wallet back, so I added a little bit so he could celebrate.” Hunter had three 20-dollar bills already, and Brown “rounded it up to an even hundred.” Why? Because it feels good to find money, Brown said. “Anything from just finding an extra $20 in your pocket from last year when you put your coat away. When I send my mom a card, I still put a dollar in there because it feels good when you open it,” he said.
Brown does good deeds like this whenever he can, but he prefers to remain anonymous. He didn’t sign his name on the note in the package, which was waiting for Hunter when he returned from Vegas.
His mom was so moved by this act of kindness, she had to thank him. So, she took to Facebook and posted a photo of the note. She explained that the only identifier was the return address on the envelope, which was from Applied Underwriters in Omaha, Neb., where Brown works. “We would love to thank the individual personally if we could find him or her. Please help share this post so we can find this amazing person,” Jeannie wrote.
Thanks to almost 2,000 shares, the post made its way to the brand manager at Applied Underwriters. “She contacted me and asked if it was OK to put us in touch with one another,” Brown said. “And so she facilitated that, and I was driving home from work Monday and heard from both Hunter and his mother.”
“They were very thankful. Hunter was very thankful,” Brown recalled of their conversation. “He told me he has some student loans and a car payment that he needed to make so the timing was right.” Jeannie told him that Hunter is very forgetful, so she wasn’t surprised when he lost his wallet. What surprised her was that he got it back. “They assumed it was gone forever. So when he opened it, she said he just started screaming, ‘No way! No way!’ And they hadn’t noticed the note until after that excitement.”
Jeannie posted again on Facebook to gush about Brown. “I personally want to thank Todd Brown and his wife for restoring faith that there are amazing people out there, the world is not as grim as it’s being made out to be,” she wrote.
Brown never expected to get so much attention. “I just wanted to do the right thing, it always feels good to do the right thing,” he said. “It’s really not that hard to be a good person.”
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