“Richard [Penny] Really is One of a Kind; He Is a Guardian for the Community. This Was Such a Lovely Thing for Him to Do. I Never Expected to See that Purse Again”

In 2012, Juana Moreland lost her purse in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. After a month had passed, she thought that she would never see it again. Fortunately, Richard Penny, an elderly man who spends a lot of time doing the good deed of picking up litter, found it and returned it to her. While he was picking up litter from the Irving Mainway parking lot on Commercial Street in North Sydney, he saw something in the water. He said, “I noticed a purse on the rocks, and when I checked there were papers and identification still inside. I knew that whoever owned the purse would need these important papers and cards. I was sure they would be worried about what happened to their identification papers and want them back no matter the condition.” He found an address in the purse and returned it to Ms. Moreland, who said, “I just couldn’t believe it when he came to my door. The purse is a Roots bag, so it is quite nice, but it is important to me because it was a gift from my sister. It has sentimental value.” Mr. Penny has picked up litter for years. He said, “I’ve done this all my life. I can’t stand seeing garbage on the ground. I have to do something. I pick it up or sweep it up. That’s what I was doing the day I found the purse: cleaning up litter.” Ms. Moreland said, “Richard really is one of a kind; he is a guardian for the community. This was such a lovely thing for him to do. I never expected to see that purse again.” She gave Mr. Penny a small reward and bought him his favorite coffee. She said, “At first he wasn’t going to take it, but it was little enough. He is such an asset to our community—who else would be out in all kinds of weather keeping our streets clean? This was a real act of kindness for which I’m grateful.”

For Further Information: Julie Collins, “Good Samaritan returns lost purse.” Cape Breton Post (Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada). 21 October 2012


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