This story begins with a woman who lost her wallet. It could easily have ended there, lost, not found, with someone taking Evelyn Topper’s money, her credit cards and other valuables without looking back.
But Sean Curry is no such person, despite his circumstances. Homeless for five years, Curry found the wallet in a dumpster behind a coffee shop in San Rafael, California. The cash was gone, but everything else was in place. Curry then did the thing: he reached out and made arrangements to return Topper’s property.
Curry explained in an interview with NBC Bay Area that he did what he did because he “[had] a heart” and “that’s the way I was brought up. I’m an honest person at heart.”
But the feel-good story does not end there.
This is where Mikayla Gounard steps into the picture. Miklaya, Topper’s granddaughter, was planning a socially distant “drive-by” party for her upcoming 12th birthday, with a charitable twist: she wanted donations for a charity in her name.
She didn’t know which charity until Curry and his kindness popped onto the radar screen. After learning more about the man who’d so selflessly returned her grandmother’s wallet, the choice seemed obvious — Sean Curry.
“I wanted to give to someone who really needed something,” she told NBC.
She set up a collection basket, balloons and party favors along with a photo of Curry on an outdoor table in her driveway. By the end of the day, she had raised several hundred dollars.
Gounard and her mom connected with Curry the next day to give him the money she had raised.
“I think it’s really important that people who think that because you got pushed down you can never get back up again,” Gounard said.
“I’m humbled,” Curry said. “I’m just blessed.”