“That’s the Definition of Ethics. It’s to Do the Right Thing Even When No One is Looking”




Max Parenti’s mother, Heidi Parenti, did not believe that he had found a big wad of cash: “I couldn’t believe it. He and his dad called me and I said, ‘Prove it,’ and then they sent a picture of Max with the money fanned out in front of him. It was pretty shocking.” In September 2013, Max, age eight, found the money in a bank deposit bag in some grass while walking with his father and his golden retriever in Founders Park in Exeter, New Hampshire. Max said, “I just found a bag of money. I thought it was just gonna be paper. It was like a bank deposit book. It had Bank of America on it.” They turned the $1,450 in to the police, who found the owner: Cheri Smith, who owns Puddlejumpers Children’s Shop in Exeter. The money had fallen out when she dropped her tote bag; Ms. Smith said, “My eyesight isn’t what it used to be.” Max’s father, Guy Parenti, an independent sales agent, remembered, “I said, ‘If we keep that money, it’s not that different from stealing that money.’ It’s not finders keepers. It’s just not the way I want to raise him.” Max said, “It’s good to give stuff back.” Ms. Smith said, “I grew up in this town and raised my kids here, and it really is the place it is because of people like Max’s parents, who used the opportunity to teach him, hey, we could put it in our pockets, but no, we all take care of each other.” She left a $100 reward and a thank-you note with the police. Police Captain William Shupe said, “This young man took some advice from his father and because of him the rightful owner got their property back. That’s the definition of ethics. It’s to do the right thing even when no one is looking.”

For Further Information: “8 Year Old NH Boy Finds Bag of Cash.” WHDH (Boston, Massachusetts). 29 September 2013


For Further Information: Beth Greenfield, “8-Year-old Rewarded for Returning $1,450 to Happy Owner.” Yahoo! Shine. 2 October 2013 


For Further Information: Jason Schreiber, “Found cash brings out Exeter boy’s best.” New Hampshire Union Leader. 27 September 2013


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