According to People, 57-year-old Sean Currey was looking for food in a dumpster behind a coffee shop in San Rafael, California when he came upon the wallet. While he’s been homeless throughout the years, he only briefly thought about using the credit cards inside before he decided to call the wallet’s owner, 80-year-old Evelyn Topper.
“Anybody in the position of being homeless and cold and tired and hungry, if they found a credit card, they’re going to think about it,” Currey told The Washington Post. “But whether you're going to act on it is two different things.” He added, “I would rather be cold and hungry and know that I did the right thing.” Currey currently lives in his Chevy Tahoe and has been homeless for almost five years.
The woman's granddaughter, Mikayla Gounard, was already planning to raise money for charity for her drive-by birthday party, and decided to donate the money to Currey. She collected $475 at her birthday, which she gave to Currey—but she then decided she wanted to do more after people were still asking how they could help.
“I got to see him smile, and it made me really happy,” Mikayla told The Post. “I was just so touched. It was refreshing, knowing that people her age want to help,” Currey added.
Gounard and Topper set up a GoFundMe page, with the goal of raising enough money so Currey could get “off of the streets and into a temporary housing situation that keeps him safe and warm,” according to the GoFundMe page.
With the extra money, they hope to work with Currey “to create a sustainable row of tiny houses for the San Rafael homeless community at large, using his design and construction experience.”
“Who knew that returning a wallet to someone I didn't know would turn into something that is gonna spark something really good?” he said in a video update.
In addition to helping Currey, Mikayla hopes to help others like him. “What began with a lost wallet, progressed into Mikayla's drive-by birthday fundraiser, and has now seeded a friendship with the entire family,” Vanessa Topper, Gounard’s mom, wrote on the GoFundMe page. “This isn't about charity. It's about Compassion, the highest form of LOVE.”