Mr. Bismark Mensah is a Mensch (A Person of Integrity and Honor: Someone to Admire)

In mid-October 2012, Bismark Mensah, a 32-year-old immigrant from Ghana who arrived in the United States on 8 February 2012 and who then worked at the Walmart at South 345th Street and 16th Avenue South in Federal Way, Washington, found a white envelope with $20,000 in it. He made sure that it got back to its rightful owners: Leona Wisdom and Gary Elton, a couple from Black Diamond, Washington. Ms. Wisdom said that the money was for a down payment on a house the couple was buying; they did not want to use a check because of the time it would take for the check to clear. Mr. Mensah had helped her with her two carts of merchandise, and as her car was pulling away, he found the envelope full of money. He said, “I run after them. I think somebody heard me and signaled for them to stop.” He then ran to the car and handed her the envelope and money. He said, “She was like, ‘Wow!’ Tears are coming out. She took some money and tried to reward me. I said, ‘No, no. I’m all right.’” Mr. Mensah was staying rent-free in the home of Vicki Campbell, who has travelled to Ghana, has grown children, and knows his mother. Ms. Campbell said, “He’s a hardworking young man. I don’t like to work with people who are slackers.” Mr. Mensah said that he was not tempted to keep the $20,000: “My conscience wouldn’t allow it. I couldn’t even drive home if I did that.” Ms. Wisdom let Walmart know about Mr. Mensah’s good deed. He won Walmart’s 2013 “Integrity in Action Award.” Jeremy Smith, who was the store manager at the time that Mr. Mensah did this very impressive good deed, said that customers regularly called the store to compliment Mr. Mensah: “Maybe they were trying to load something heavy into their vehicle. He rushed right away to help them. They were overwhelmed with his kindness and generosity.” In April 2013, Mr. Mensah had a full-time position at Walmart at $9.19 an hour, with benefits. He worked both in the parking lot and as an inventory specialist. Mr. Mensah said, “In the parking lot, people chat, tell you their problems, you see that a person is not happy. I tell them, ‘God is in control. Everything is OK.’”

For More Information: Erik Lacitis, “Hero with a $20,000 heart: Walmart worker honored for returning cash left in cart.” Seattle Times (Washington). 5 April 2013

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