Kevin Booth frequents the Sumner Community Food Bank in Washington, where he picks up donated items to help him survive on a day-to-day basis.
But the man, who is homeless, could have never anticipated what he would come across one morning when he found a suspicious paper bag on the building’s front step.
According to the food bank’s executive director, Anita Miller, Booth had a difficult decision to make after he reached into the bag, unsure of what was inside, and pulled out a $20 bill.
But when an employee came by to open the food bank for the day, he quickly handed it over without mentioning much about what he had found.
“We just thought it was food and picked it up and went to carry it in,” Ms Miller tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“And then we realised it was something else and opened it. It was $17,000 (AUD$23,500) in a brown paper bag.”
The woman describes the moment as “overwhelming,” likely mimicking what Mr Booth had also felt when he initially discovered that it contained any money at all.
Still, the food bank employees quickly called the police, prompting an investigation of the money, where it came from and who exactly handed it in.
“It had to stay with the police for 90 days and then it was returned to us because nobody ever claimed it,” Ms Miller explains, adding that it wasn’t until then that they discovered via security footage that the man who found the bag was Mr Booth.
Now she says the money they’ve ultimately received through a GoFundMe page and other publicity will continue to be used to help the “charismatic” regular.
“We were able to have him go into Fred Meyer [supermarket], and he can use a credit card in there for whatever he wants,” Ms Miller says.
“We will always take care of him.”
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However, the people at Sumner Community Food Bank aren’t the only people recognising Mr Booth’s inspiring display of generosity.
The Sumner Police Department awarded Mr Booth a citizen’s citation on Thursday.
“Not every citizen would be as honest as you in this situation,” Police Chief Brad Moericke told Mr Booth, according to the San Diego News Tribune, noting that Mr Booth told him he knew that the money would benefit more people than just himself.
“Kevin was so very proud of himself because he had done this and he knew it was the right thing, which kind of makes the story just the best story on earth,” Ms Miller says.
“It restores all of our faith in mankind. It also shows that the people that are homeless, there’s a lot of good out there too that are just suffering from some tough times.”