Homeless Man Finds, Returns $3,300 To ASU Student

November 18th, 2010 by Staff

TEMPE, Ariz. — It would have been easy, maybe understandable, if Dave Tally decided to keep the $3,300 he found in a backpack at a light rail station earlier this month.
He didn’t, and an Arizona State University student is grateful.
Tally is homeless and lives in a Tempe shelter. He is also a recovering drug addict.
But when he found the backpack containing a laptop computer and an envelope with the cash, he knew immediately what to do — try to return it to its owner.
The backpack and its items belonged to ASU student Bryan Belanger, who lost his backpack at the light-rail station near campus a few weeks ago. But there was no wallet or other identification inside.
Tally took the backpack to an employee of the Tempe shelter where he lives. Inside the bag the found a small flash drive.
The employee put the flash drive in a computer and found Belanger’s resume.
They phoned Belanger and returned the backpack with all of the cash.
Wednesday afternoon, Belanger met the man who found his money. He said he’s still “completely overwhelmed with gratitude for the guy.”
“It says a lot,” Belanger said. “It’s a lesson in keeping your faith in people. You can have character, regardless of your circumstances.”
Tally said that he briefly thought about keeping the money, then realized it didn’t belong to him.
“I’m just happy that it was me that was able to find it for him and turn it in to him,” said Tally. “I don’t know if anybody else would have, but it sure feels good now. It wasn’t my money.”
Belanger said he lost the backpack with the cash inside and had reported it to police. He said he wrecked his car in an accident last month and withdrew money from his bank account to buy a new vehicle.
“It’s humbling and it puts things into perspective,” Belanger said of Talley’s decision.
The 21-year old ASU student said he gave Tally a reward but did not want to reveal exactly how much.


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