Homeless man who found $3300 tracks down owner to return it

Another story for our series on heroic men. (H/T Wes Widner, who IS a heroic man!)

Here’s a print version of the story.


When a homeless Arizona man found a backpack containing thousands of dollars in cash, he could have seen it as a windfall. Instead, he saw that it was returned to its owner, an honorable act that’s now paying off.

Dave Tally, a recovering drug addict, came across the lost backpack earlier this month in a light rail station in Tempe. He opened it up, trying to find some sort of identification or baggage tag.

Inside, there were no clues about its rightful owner, but Tally did find an envelope stuffed with $3,300 in cash, as well as a laptop computer.

“Finding the envelope with the case was just mind-blowing,” Tally said. “There were lots of crazy thoughts that went through my head.”

The cash could have meant a lot for Tally, who’s lived on the streets for several years after losing his home. He now sleeps n the basement of local churches, saving what little he can to fix his broken bike, his only source of transportation.

“I went into survival mode for a moment, actually more than a moment,” Tally said, “thinking about all the things I could do for myself.”

But in the end, the money wasn’t worth more than his honor.

“It wasn’t easy, but I know it was the right thing to do,” Tally said. “I beat myself up pretty hard for even thinking I would spend one dime of that person’s money.”

What an awesome story – it shows that some people refuse to do wrong no matter what their situation is. I think it’s amazing because so many people justify taking their neighbors money (through taxation) by pointing out inequalities between rich and poor. Here’s a man who is very poor, and yet he did not consider his own modest situation to be a justification for stealing money from his neighbor. This is the problem with modern Democrats – they feel entitled to a perpetual adolescence by spending their lives working in the government or the schools or collecting welfare – and they are willing to steal from other productive people to finance it.

3 thoughts on “Homeless man who found $3300 tracks down owner to return it”

  1. This is very heartening because it shows how someone we might easily dismiss can actually be capable of great integrity, in the face of huge temptation to compromise. Let’s not give up on people because of things they’ve done in the past. Dave, we salute you.


  2. So did anyone in the community in the position to help him give him a job or something?
    Such honesty is hard to find.
    Even if his mind is not working so great because he fried it with drugs, his heart is working just fine and it’s this kind of heart you want in an employee.

    Even mindless work, doing dishes, setting up at Starbucks (like the mentally challenged character in I Am Sam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Sam . He was capable of basic work. And was a respectable member of society because of it.)

    I love heroic stories like this.
    But being homeless is a less than satisfactory condition for the heroic of heart.
    This is where the community needs to respond and give a guy a hand up.
    It is a way to reward the best behavior so that it can be held up for others to see.
    We must be a people who honor the honorable with something tangible if we want our society to be honorable as a whole.


    1. I agree with you. It’s a very thoughtful comment. We should make a BIG DEAL out of this. And maybe think about how to encourage people to keep trying by having clever policies that reward trying and succeeding after a person hits the bottom.


Leave a Reply to Mara Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s