Though the likelihood is bleak, we still hope that somebody who finds our lost valuables in public would have the honesty and integrity to return them to us. It’s because of this sliver of hope that hearing stories of kindness warms our hearts, particularly when the doer is a teenager.

Melina Marquez from California misplaced her handbag. She had no idea that a young guy was the one who found it in a shopping cart at the supermarket. Melina wasn’t aware of this until she opened the door to see a teenager outside with her wallet in his hands.

Inside her purse were valuables, including a driver’s license belonging to Eliana Martin, a friend she used to live with. Since Eliana had not yet updated her address, the teen was able to find Melina’s home.

In a recount of the incident, Melina said, “So my aunt heard the ring go off so she opened the door and received the purse. She was a little confused.”

The surveillance footage captured the moment when the teenage boy said that the bag was “in the parking lot” and he was only returning it to its rightful owner. He then driving away without any further explanation. Melina wasn’t able to see this Good Samaritan who not only honesty returned her handbag but also brought it directly to her house.

Melina stated, “So I asked my aunt, I said ‘Did you get his name or did you at least give him 20 bucks?’ And she’s like ‘No, I didn’t know!’”

Melina knew that she needed to find the teenager in the CCTV video, so she posted it on social media. She was hoping that this effort would help locate him, and thankfully, the internet did not disappoint. People of San Diego started sharing her post surprisingly quickly.

That’s when Melina discovered Adrian Rodriguez, who was 17 years old…

He told her that he was the man in the video, who had returned her purse. Melina queried him as to why he chose to return it, and his response moved her greatly.

Adrian stated, “My mom has told me since I was little to always do the right thing even when no one’s watching.” He stated that if he were to lose something, he would want someone to find a way to bring it back.

Melina added, “He could’ve just taken whatever was in the purse, you know. And he didn’t. He brought it back and I think this just speaks a lot about him.”

When this young man’s actions were made public, individuals in their community and on social media contacted out and expressed their desire to give Adrian a reward. Melina, therefore, began raising money to provide Adrian with his deserved prize.

The goal of the campaign was set at $1000 at first. In the end, this generated a sum of $14,815!

Donors praised Adrian for his efforts. One donor said, “It’s nice to see a young man with a strong moral code to do the right thing with no expectation of personal gain. You will go far in life, my friend.”

Indeed, he deserves everything that he receives for his act of kindness and honesty.