A Modern Good Samaritan

Suppose you were walking in your hometown and you came across a bundle of cash lying on the sidewalk. What would you think?

For the past six or so years, residents of Blackhall Colliery, England haven’t known what to think. They have been finding neat packages of 20-pound notes, worth as much as $2,600, in plain sight. Like responsible citizens, they’ve reported the findings to the police, then were awarded the money when it went unclaimed. “These bundles are always left in plain sight such as on pavements and discovered by random members of the public who have handed them in,” John Forster, detective constable of the Durham Constabulary said in a statement released in November, after the fourth find that year had been turned in. At least £26,000 in cash has been found since 2014.

Residents of Blackhall Colliery, a former mining village of less than 5,000 residents on the North Sea coast, can certainly use the money. But the source and motive of the windfalls have been a mystery.

Then the Durham Constabulary announced that two people had come forward as anonymous “good Samaritans.” According to the police statement, these unrelated acquaintances “had recently received unexpected windfalls and told police they wanted to give something back.” The bundles would be left where people in need would most likely find them.

The spirit of the Good Samaritan appears alive and well, at least in England.

“Cash Appeared on Their Streets for Years. Now, Villagers Know Why” by Iliana Magra (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/14/world/europe/money-blackhall-colliery.html?)

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