A homeless man's life goes from rags to riches when he finds a wallet on the subway stairs and seeks its owner to return it.
It was almost nightfall, and Jack Callahan was back at the Gray Park subway station, knowing that a large crowd would rush into the station, eager to return home, and that if his luck held, a kind soul would leave a dollar or two in his hat, feeling sympathy for him.
Soon, a large crowd gathered in front of him, muttering about their days, how they were rushing home to meet their spouses, and chit-chatting with their friends and making plans for the evening. Somebody threw a few cents in his begging hat, and he hastily looked around to check if there was a cop who could shoo him away.
Jack was a homeless man begging at the subway station. | Source: Shutterstock
When he realized his path was clear, he moved closer to the steps, where he noticed more people approaching. He sat on the stairwell and placed his placard next to him. "I'm hungry and homeless. Kindly help!" it said.
Some people who passed by mocked him, but others became his savior and dropped money and food for him. He was overwhelmed with gratitude when a kind woman offered him her sandwich and a warm blanket.
"Thank you so much, ma'am," he said, grinning, as the woman walked away.
After gathering enough money, Jack decided to call it a day and retire to the alley where he usually slept. However, as he stood up, a man bumped into him, dropping his wallet in the process. "Sorry…sorry!" he exclaimed frantically as he dashed aboard the train before the doors shut.
"Don't worry, man! At the very least, you apologized. Some folks don't even do that," Jack muttered under his breath as he resumed collecting his things.
The man ran into the train, dropping his wallet in the process. | Source: Pexels
Suddenly, his attention was pulled to the wallet that the stranger had dropped on the stairs. "Sir," he swiftly turned to address him. "Your - your wallet!" he yelled. But it was pointless because the train had already left.
Jack didn't want to check the wallet because it felt like trespassing on someone's property, but if he had to return it, he needed the man's address and contact information. So he opened it to look for an ID or something, but as he began inspecting its contents, his jaw dropped.
The wallet was loaded with cash! In fact, it was loaded with A LOT of cash! There must have been at least $10K there! And for a moment, his eyes were gleaming at the sight of all that wealth. He would no longer have to wander the streets, and he could live a happy life if he kept the money, he thought. But something in his conscience told him that wasn't right, so he took the wallet to a local police station.
You never know how a small act can change your life forever.
Officer Peterson, the detective on the scene, was impressed by his candor. "A homeless bum returning so much money? I guess not everyone in this city sucks. Thank you for bringing it here. You, uh, know anything about the man?" he inquired, rummaging through the wallet for the man's ID.
The wallet was loaded with cash. | Source: Pexels
"I didn't find anything like that inside his wallet, officer" Jack replied. "I mean, there was no ID or anything, but he had a lot of credit cards and money. I assumed he would be worried, so I brought the wallet here..."
"Ugh, yeah. You leave this with us; we will find him and return it to him as soon as possible. Where did you find the wallet? And what's your name?"
"Jack-Jack Callahan. I usually…." Jack was about to reveal how he'd been begging at the subway every evening, but if the cops found out, he'd have to find a new spot to beg, which he didn't want to do. The subway station was a good place for him to gather enough food and money to get by. But then, you can't get away with lying to a cop, and Officer Peterson caught him.
"I understand. I'll make certain that my crew never finds you there," he replied. "Think of it as a reward for your honesty."
"Thank you, officer," Jack said and left the police station, hoping the owner would be found soon. Little did he know it would be a little too soon...
A few days later, a wealthy man dressed in a tuxedo pulled up next to him. "Mr. Jack Callahan? Is that you?" he asked in a firm voice.
A rich man approached Jack. | Source: Pexels
Jack raised his gaze to the man. "Yes?"
"Hello, my name is David Miller," he said as he extended his hand. "I appreciate you returning my wallet. That evening, I was in a hurry and dropped it on the way. I don't usually take trains, but my car broke down that day, and I needed to get home quickly... I really appreciate your help."
"Oh, sir," Jack replied, grabbing his hand with both of his hands. "It was no problem."
From the way Jack spoke, David wondered why he was a homeless man. He appeared educated and didn't really seem like someone who'd be begging for a living. "I must say, Mr. Callahan, it's difficult to find folks like you. I'm honestly curious how a man like you would be up here. Please don't misunderstand me..."
"Life can be difficult at times, sir," Jack remarked, reflecting on his tragic past. "I lost my house and family some time ago, and I had nowhere to go... I lost my job too, and then my savings..."
Jack informed David about how he became homeless. | Source: Pexels
"In that case, I'd appreciate it if you accept this. I'm sure it'll benefit you in some manner," David said, handing Jack a cash envelope.
"That's a lot of money, sir," Jack responded, hesitantly accepting it. "I'm afraid I can't take it from you."
David tried to persuade Jack that he should keep the money in exchange for his favor of returning the wallet, but he wouldn't accept it. So David came up with an idea.
"Well, then," he paused for a while. "How about you join me at work? I'm a businessman, and my company has several openings right now. Consider the money your advanced payment. I need a new assistant, and I'm hoping you won't say no..."
"Sir?" Jack's eyes welled up with tears. "Can I really...Oh my goodness, thank you! Thank you very much, sir!"
Jack couldn't believe David actually hired him! When his mother became critically ill a few months ago, he was forced to resign from his work to care for her.
Unfortunately, he couldn't save her, and when she passed away, he had a lot of unpaid bills that his savings could barely cover. Eventually, he was kicked out of his house and became homeless. Since then, he had been trying to find work, but it was all for naught. So when David offered him the job, Jack couldn't contain his joy!
Jack had been homeless for a long time. | Source: Pexels
"Mr. Miller, you don't know how big of a favor you've done for me! I - I have been looking for a job for months!"
"Well, then, how about you pack up your things and follow me to the office? I bet you won't get a leave any time soon, and you'd have to work eight hours every day."
"I don't mind at all, sir. I don't," Jack cried as he followed David into his car.
The kind man directed his secretary to arrange for a flat for Jack at the company's expense and urged him to start working the next day. "Think of this as your last work-free day, Mr. Callahan," he laughed. "Okay?"
Jack couldn't thank David enough for what he'd done. From the day he joined his office, he worked honestly and gave his best. And seeing Jack's dedication and honesty, David never regretted offering him a job.
But that wasn't all. A few months after working at David's office, Jack met David's daughter Kiara. Something clicked between the two right from their first meeting, and before they knew it, they were in love. When David learned about their relationship, he gladly gave them his blessing, and a few months later, the pair tied the knot.
Jack and Kiara got married. | Source: Pexels
Unfortunately, one year after their marriage, David passed away from cardiac arrest. However, he had drafted a will before his death, naming Jack and Kiara as the only inheritors of his million-dollar estate. Jack was again taken aback when he learned he had become a millionaire!
In honor of his late father-in-law, who had placed so much faith in him, he decided to return a portion of his inheritance to society, so he made various charitable donations and even opened a shelter for the destitute in David's name.
What can we learn from this story?
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