Have you ever lost something precious to you and thought you'd never get it back? A woman by the name of Sarah Thomas from Oregon loves thrifting and even has her own business of reselling interesting items she finds through Facebook. One day, she found a vintage designer bag that she couldn't pass up because she knew it would earn a lot on the resale market. Little did she know that bag would end up changing someone's life for the better after realizing it was heavier than usual.
An Unexpected Find
One day, Oregon resident Sarah Thomas saw a bag at a thrift store that she couldn't let pass. After purchasing, she turned it over to inspect it, and something heavy moved. That's when she started to investigate harder.
After rummaging around the purchase, feeling along the lining, Thomas wanted to know what it was in there. "How odd," she thought as she checked the compartments. Then, Thomas discovered a hole in the lining and reached further down. Her hand glassed over a strange rectangular object, and she knew right away what it was and that it didn't belong there...
One Great Bargain Hunter
The Oregon resident loved nothing more but to bargain shop. It was her favorite pastime. Whenever she passed up a thrift shop, she would always stop there to find some goods. Her main focus was to find anything that looked unusual or interesting.
She had such a knack for finding obscure things that she started her own clothing resale business online. She thought she had seen it all in her many years in the industry, but she was wrong.
More Than A Hobby
Thomas started a Facebook page titled Sarah's Southern Oregon 2nd Hand Deals and became quite successful from it. She was able to generate a steady source of income thanks to hard work and her keen eye.
Her weeks consisted of traveling to the local thrift shops searching for the products the stuck out to her several times a week. While some days were pretty good, she would run into bad luck other times. That's just the business.
Hunting For Gold
In her searching process, Thomas would come across some questionable items. By that we mean she would uncover that her finds would be worn or damaged. That made them unfit for resale, but that wasn't enough to stop her from trekking on.
On occasion, Thomas would discover an object that was more suspicious-looking than usual. This was the case when she spotted a three dollar diaper bag, and she knew right away she had to have it.
A Lucky Purchase
Not only was a designer label diaper bag, but it was vintage. That's double the points in her book, so there was no question that Thomas was going to purchase that sweet bag.
The best part was that it looked good as new, the epitome of a rare find. She thought to herself that the bag would fetch at least $200 in resale value. She bought it without hesitation. It was when she made it home that she realized something...
The Mysterious Find
Once Thomas made it back home with her prized diaper bag, that's when she noticed something interesting. "I was cleaning it and just noticed something heavy shaking around in there," Thomas explained.
After looking around inside the bag, she still couldn't find anything. She started to think negative thoughts in fear of what the previous owner could have left in there. Thomas also wondered why the last owner would get rid of such a valuable item.
All Kinds Of Curiosity
As each second passed by, Thomas' curiosity grew more and more. She thought that she should return the bag and leave it at that. It was a second-hand bag, after all.
As good of an idea that might've been, her interest became too high, and she couldn't just let it go. That's when she saw a small hole in the lining of the bag. She had no clue she was about to uncover a seven-year-old mystery...
A Sparkle Of Silver
After peeking into the opening, she saw a flash of silver, and her heart began to race. What could it be? Thomas started widening the hole so she could get to the bottom of this. Was it a treasure?
Carefully, Thomas pecked away at the hole, careful not to mess up what she spotted. She then whispered, "here goes," as she prepared to uncover what was inside this mysterious bag.
Eureka! It's A Camera
Thomas' hand softly grazed an object, and she winced. It was cold and hard, but she was relieved it wasn't slimy and wet. She also recognized that it felt like a metal object.
Slowly she pulled it out and her levels of astonishment shot through the roof. It was a brand-new Sony digital camera in the bag! After figuring out what it was, that only left her with more questions. For example, who did it belong to?
After finding the power button, Thomas turned it on and held her breath. The suspense was killing her as it beeped its way to life. Thomas was so surprised that she had to jump a little.
At first, she was reluctant to look through what was in there, but she carried on. After seeing all the personal and secret memories, she was unable to look away from it. What could have been in that camera?
She Had A Sinking Feeling
What she saw was pictures of a younger woman and a baby. She assumed it was a mother and her child, and with each new photo, her heart sank even more.
Picture after picture, it wasn't long until she reached the end of it all. She felt such shock by what she had seen. Well before she got tho the end of it, she knew something had to be done about it, but what?
Time To Take Action
When asked if Thomas had any hesitation about trying to figure out what to do, she gave a great response: "I live by the golden rule. I would hate someone to do that to me."
Thomas made up her mind and knew she had to take action. Looking at the photographs was more than enough to ignite this passion in her. In her heart, she knew it was the right decision to make, and she couldn't have been more correct.
Being a mother also propelled her into action. She knew how she would feel if she had lost a camera with such valuable memories in it. Some moments are irreplaceable, and photos help you remember them better.
She thought about all the precious moments she had with her child, such as the day she went home with her baby for the first time from the hospital, and her child's first steps. She had to do something to find the rightful owner.
That's when it hit her like a sack of bricks. Thomas already had a substantial following on Facebook so she figured she could share the photos online and hopefully someone would recognize them!
"I would hate to lose pictures," Thomas recalled. "It might not be much, but it is to somebody." She wondered if the owner would even still be in the area or not. There was a chance that the original bag owner might've lost it years ago.
Letting Socials Do Its Job
Thomas made a post on Facebook that read: "I'm not sure if this is ok to post here, but I purchased a diaper bag at the Goodwill and found a blue Sony Cybershot camera inside with photos. Does anyone know who this family or people in these pictures are? I want to make sure they get their camera and most definitely their SD card."
Thankfully, the owner was nearby. It was a miracle, and she had social media to thank. What else could have had the power to find someone in such a complex situation?
Mystery Person Gets Revealed
Only one hour after the initial post, the owner of the bag revealed themselves, and it happened to be one of Thomas' followers. Her name was Katie Conner, and she was confused by the whole ordeal.
Thomas reached out via Facebook Messenger and told her that she had her camera and the SD card that was filled with timeless photos. That's when Conner had no idea what she was talking about. Thomas sent her some pictures in hopes of jogging her brain.
The Target Meeting
Once Conner saw the photos, she nearly burst into tears. She thought all of those memories were lost forever, but she couldn't have been more wrong! It was an excellent time to be thankful.
Thomas arranged a meeting with Conner at the local Target so she could give back her valuable memories. Thomas had no clue it was going to be such an emotional reunion, and what was to come next. We can imagine that Thomas felt a burst of joy during all of this...
As Happy As She Could Be
"Thank you!" Katie blurts as she strides up to Thomas with a look of unparalleled joy. After Thomas handed her the camera with all the memories, Conner said, "I think we thought it was long gone!"
That's when she told Thomas just how long the camera was missing. Thomas couldn't believe it. How was the camera still alive after such a long time? How did no one else find this precious item after all this time passed?...
Seven Long Years
The year was 2017 when Thomas came across her lucky Goodwill find, but the camera came up missing in 2010. That's seven years of lost memories. We understand why Conner was confused at first because that is quite a while.
Conner's baby was only one-year-old in many of the pictures, but she was now seven. That's an incredible time capsule if you think about it. Conner couldn't wait to scroll through the photos and see all those good times!
An Amazing Ending
Conner thought her camera would never get found, let alone return to her possession. Thanks to Thomas, the thrifting master, all of her past memories were back in her hands and heart.
Thomas remained humble about the whole thing and thought her deed wasn't anything too special. "I would think that anyone else would do it, but I guess maybe nowadays that isn't the case," she said in an interview.
This Woman Saw A Man Abandon A Package At The Airport. When She Opened It, She Had To Speak Out
Back in February 2016, Tampa resident Ivelise Hernandez ended up doing something remarkable for a total stranger.
The whole story began when Hernandez and her boyfriend took a trip over to Tampa Bay's St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. It was there that she witnessed something that was so impactful to her that it inspired her to become even more than just a good Samaritan.
Not An Average Traveling Day
Hernandez and her boyfriend were bound for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when they made their incredible discovery. What was going to be a typical day of traveling turned out to be the opposite of what the couple had expected.
While most people want to forget about ever being in an airport, this would be an experience in the airport that she would never forget. Yet, the whole story was set into motion long before Hernandez ever even stepped foot on the airport.
A Problem At Security
In fact, the entire episode began unfolding while the couple bound for Pittsburgh were going through security at the airport. Hernandez noticed that there was apparently an issue with something in a fellow passenger's bag ahead of her in line.
It turned out that the passenger had a restricted item inside of their luggage that they weren’t allowed to take past that point. Unfortunately, the passenger was then asked to throw the object away to their dismay.
Restrictions On Fluids Was The Issue
When traveling on airplanes these days, officers from the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, have strict rules regarding people traveling with liquids. The typical rule is that air travelers aren't allowed to bring items that contain more than 3.4 ounces of fluid with them onto the airplane in a carry-on bag.
This is why it’s extremely common to see people being forced to throw away things such as shampoo, water, and other beverages at the security checkpoint.
Not All Things Are Replaceable
Usually, although it may not be pleasurable to throw away your toiletries or drinks, most of those items can be replaced once you get past security or once you get to your destination.
However, in this instance, it wasn't something that could be replaced like a bottle of water. Hernandez could tell that the male traveler was being asked to throw away something of sentimental value. But regardless, he had no say in the matter.
Something Didn't Seem Right
The man even politely asked if he could place the bag in the airport's lost and found, that way, he could get it back somehow no matter what the means. Unfortunately, airport security denied his request, and he reluctantly threw the object away in the trash.
While watching the whole situation unfold, both Hernandez and her boyfriend both felt that something about the whole situation didn’t feel right.
They Looked In The Trash To See What it Was
So, Hernandez's boyfriend went into the trash to uncover what the man had been forced to leave behind. When he looked inside of the trash, he found a box.
So, he pulled the box from out of the bin in order to see what the contents were. When he opened the box, he understood why the man had desperately not wanted to part with it. It really was of sentimental value.
Discovering The Contents
When they opened the box, they discovered that the contents inside was a snow globe. However, this wasn't just any old snow globe that people buy while on vacation. This one had photos of what appeared to have pictures of family members inside with a meaningful inscription that said "We love you Katie. Nana and Papa 1/25/16."
Upon seeing this heartfelt message and the pictures, the couple knew that they had to do something to return what the man had lost.
Coming Up With A Plan
After the couple made their heartbreaking discovery, they couldn't help but feel terrible that the man was forced to leave such a precious item behind, especially that he had to throw it away.
So, the couple devised a plan. They decided that the best thing to do would be to track the man back so that they could hopefully return it back to him.
Taking It To The Internet
The couple decided to use the tools that they had at hand and took to the Internet, a place where almost any problem can help be solved. They logged onto Facebook and wrote a post about the situation.
They then asked the people of the Internet to share their post in hopes of it eventually reaching the poor man that lost his meaningful snow globe. They were desperately hoping that their message would eventually reach the man at the airport.
What Happened Next Was Amazing
While the couple knew that their post on Facebook might just be a shot in the dark, it was still worth a try. However, they could have never anticipated what would happen next.
Hernandez admitted that "I thought it would share a couple hundred times," she told Fox 13 News in April 2016. Amazingly, on the same day, the post had gone viral. The post was being shared thousands of times with more every minute.
The Number Of Shares Was Unbelievable
Hernandez and her boyfriend were still hopeful, however, they thought that maybe their post would just eventual die down and fade away entirely. Yet, seven days since their original post, it had been re-posted more than 48,000 times.
The two were completely awestruck by the power of the Internet considering they thought the post would only receive a little attention.
Someone Recognized The Snow Globe
As a result of their effort and with a little bit of Internet magic, the couple finally got the information that they were looking for. An employee from the gift shop Things Remembered came across Hernandez's post.
There was something about the snow globe that caught her eye and made her think that she had seen it before. So, the employee hopped into her work's database to try and figure out who had ordered to snow globe from the store.
They Found The Owner
Miraculously, the Things Remembered worker managed to track down the name of the person that had originally ordered and purchased the sentimental snow globe. The customer that had ordered the gift was named Linda Modry, who had purchased the globe as a gift for her granddaughter Katie.
Unfortunately, the little girl never got the globe that was meant for her, as her adopted father had been forced to throw it away at airport security.
The News Picked Up The Story
Thanks to the help of Hernandez and her boyfriend, along with everyone that shared the post on Facebook, it looked like a reunion was in the making for the little girl and her intended snow globe.
Fox News 13 then picked up the story and followed it all the way up until the beloved snow globe was returned to the original buyer. Modry arrived at Hernandez's doorstep to receive the gift that she and her husband feared they had lost forever.
Modry Was In Disbelief
When Hernandez opened the door to greet Modry, she handed her back the once-missing gift. Modry was overwhelmed with joy and appreciation that Hernandez and her boyfriend had gone through all of this to return the snow globe. While embracing, Modry said, "I can't believe that you did this."
She even brought Hernandez flowers to show her gratitude for everything that the couple had done for her family. While Modry was still in disbelief, Hernandez was happy just knowing that the gift had been returned to its rightful owner.
Hernandez Didn't Think What She Did Was That Amazing
Opening up about why she did was she did, Hernandez commented that "My mom always raised us to always be good to people. If it was me, and I lost my snow globe, I'd want the same thing to happen to me."
So, to Hernandez, returning the gift was the obvious thing to do, because that's just how she was raised. While Hernandez didn't think it was that big of a deal, Modry saw her actions as nothing but selfless and purehearted.
An Exceptional Act Of Kindness
Modry proclaimed that "People are basically really good, and she's just exceptional." With that being said, it's not wrong to say that plenty of other passengers may have been interested in seeing what the man threw away, but would not have gone to these lengths in order to make sure it got back into the right hands.
But thankfully, Hernandez and her boyfriend were on the scene, a couple that were willing to do what it took to set things right.
An Example For Others
People other than Modry and her family thought that what Hernandez and her boyfriend did was incredible as well. Facebook users from all over thanked Hernandez and her boyfriend for showing the world that a little kindness can go a long way.
One user even posted, "So happy the owner was found! May God bless you and your boyfriend ten times over!" In a world where social media isn't always the nicest place, Hernandez and her boyfriend proved that it doesn't always have to be that way.
Proof There's Still Good In The World
While for some people, a missing snow globe might not be the end of the world, the story isn't just about a snow globe. It's proof that there are still people out there that are willing to do the right thing, even if it means putting some extra work in.
Hernandez and her boyfriend didn't do it for fame or for a reward, but because they knew it would make a family happy. Their story has been an inspiration to many people which has hopefully encouraged others to act the same way.
The Story Went Viral
There's nothing like having your actions praised on social media to reaffirm your decision to do the right thing. As news of Hernandez's kind deed spread to various social media outlets, she found some pretty terrific feedback from strangers. Her one act of paying it forward had made a huge impact on others' lives.
On the Facebook page for a group called Love What Matters, people expressed how happy Hernandez's actions had made them. Many said she would be blessed in return for her good deed.
She Was Blessed, Indeed
It turns out that all those strangers on Facebook were correct in saying that Hernandez would be blessed. Two years after returning the snowglobe, Ivelise shared that she is now expecting a child of her own.
It's difficult to imagine anyone being so fit to be a great mother as Ivelise! She will undoubtedly be a wonderful parent. And it turns out that her actions at the airport that day had unexpected effects elsewhere, too.
New Regulations On Snowglobes
There's now some great news for fans of snow globes. Lisa Farbstein with The Transportation Security Administration told NPR that it's now OK to bring snow globes along with you, under one condition.
She said, "You can now carry on small snow globes, as long as they are put in those plastic bags along with your other small bottles of liquids." They also must be smaller than a tennis ball.