O'BRIEN: Convenience store angel shows there are still good people out there

Posted: Dec. 14, 2012 9:02 pm Updated: Jan. 26, 2013 12:15 am

It was a Sunday many can relate to. A Quincy mom was bouncing from soccer games to basketball games to a dance recital to a family birthday party. Thanks to the holiday season, it seems that time is a premium. There are never enough hours in the day or week it seems.

All of that running left her short of gas, so she stopped at her favorite convenience store to fill up that afternoon. She filled her tank, paid with a store gift card and went on her way. Little did she know that she left hundreds of dollars of gift cards sitting on the store's counter.

She didn't figure out what she had done until hours later when she went through her purse and noticed that the group of gift cards were gone.

"I was mad at myself," the woman said. "I was pretty cavalier with a lot of money."

She retraced her steps and realized that she left the packet of cards at the convenience store. She had stopped there at 1:30 p.m. It was nearly nine hours later before she realized her mistake.

She had little hope that the cards would be found. Losing credit cards or your debit card is one thing. Those have identifying marks on them. If you lose those, you call your credit card companies or your bank and have them stopped until you find them. But gift cards are a whole different ballgame. They are just like cash. If you find one lying on the ground -- or sitting on a convenience store counter -- you can have at them.

"The one right on top was a $100 gas card," said the woman, who bought the gift cards as part of a fundraiser for her kids' school. She had planned to use the gift cards to buy Christmas presents and other things the family needed.

She had her husband run to the store late Sunday night, but it was closed.

"He's a pretty positive guy," the woman said of her husband. "He said the cards would be there. If not, someone needed them more than we did."

Not that the woman had lost her faith in humanity, but it was about to bolstered in a big way. When she got up on Monday morning, she called the manager of the convenience store on the long shot that the cards would still be there.

Much to her surprise, the manager told her that the packet of gift cards was still there.

"Oh, yes," the manager told her, "they are right here with a note."

The woman went to the store that morning to collect the cards and to thank her new Christmas angel, who was named Evan. He wasn't working, but was scheduled to be in the store later that night, which prompted a return visit by the woman later that day.

It turned out that Even, a college-aged kid, never really thought about taking them. He figured that whoever lost them would be back to get them.

The woman thanked Evan for his honesty. And she kept the note he left with the cards. It reads: "a thin lady with dark brown hair left these here at 1:30."

"I just love that kid," the woman said. "Not only is he honest, but he's complimentary, too. I saved that note and put it in my Bible. It's a good reminder that there are still good, honest people out there."




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