Person of the Week: Arizona Homeless Man Dave Tally Turns in Lost Backpack With $3,300
Homeless Tempe, Ariz., man found a bag containing cash and a computer.
Nov. 19, 2010— -- When a homeless Arizona man found a backpack containing thousands of dollars in cash, he could have seen it as a windfall. Instead, he saw that it was returned to its owner, an honorable act that's now paying off.
Dave Tally, a recovering drug addict, came across the lost backpack earlier this month in a light rail station in Tempe. He opened it up, trying to find some sort of identification or baggage tag.
Inside, there were no clues about its rightful owner, but Tally did find an envelope stuffed with $3,300 in cash, as well as a laptop computer.
"Finding the envelope with the case was just mind-blowing," Tally said. "There were lots of crazy thoughts that went through my head."
The cash could have meant a lot for Tally, who's lived on the streets for several years after losing his home. He now sleeps n the basement of local churches, saving what little he can to fix his broken bike, his only source of transportation.
"I went into survival mode for a moment, actually more than a moment," Tally said, "thinking about all the things I could do for myself."
But in the end, the money wasn't worth more than his honor.
"It wasn't easy, but I know it was the right thing to do," Tally said. "I beat myself up pretty hard for even thinking I would spend one dime of that person's money."
Tally took the bag to his boss at the Tempe Community Action Agency, which helps homeless people in the area find shelter and where he holds down a part time job. With no ID on the bag, they had no way of finding the owner until someone thought to plug in a flash drive that was with the computer.
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