“I Just Did What I Would Expect Other People to Do for Me”


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In December 2012, shortly before New Year’s, Gerardo Marquez and some friends went out for pizza and found $800 in an envelope lying on the ground. They did the right thing and handed it in to police in La Habra, California. Gerardo said, “We were being human beings. Everyone’s first thought was … let’s take it. But then we decided … wait, wait. No, no. Let’s think this further.” He added, “What if this was a mother working hard for this money and she really is in need or in a worse situation that I or my friends are in? Or what if taking this money away would prevent a family from buying food? I didn’t want to take any chances. I wanted to start the New Year in a good way.” He called the police. He said, “They were surprised. ‘We don’t get calls like this.’ Especially ’cause I’m a teenager. I think that is what surprised them the most.” Kristine Lazar, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, met Gerardo and reported on the Good Samaritan story. While Ms. Lazar was reporting, she met a woman who thought that her boss, Titus So, the manager of a cell phone store, had lost the money, which he had been going to deposit.  Mr. So was able to state the exact amount of money in the envelope as well as state the name that was written on the envelope. Mr. So, who had been afraid that he would have to replace the money at his own cost, said about Gerardo, “He did a great thing. This has been a rough year for retail, but coupled with this it would have been worse. It’s character that drove him to do the right thing. It’s great that it worked out, because I would have been in big trouble.” He gave Gerardo a $100 reward. Gerardo said, “I just did what I would expect other people to do for me.” Gerardo’s mother said, “I feel so proud about him and his friends.”

For Further Information: “La Habra Teen Finds Nearly $800, Returns It.” CBS (Los Angeles, California). 31 December 2012


Also: Doug Morino, “La Habra teens find, turn in $800 lost by store.” Orange County Register (California). 31 December 2012; updated 2 January 2013


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