It’s the classic “What Would You Do?” situation … you find a wallet packed full of cash and have to ask yourself the all-important question.

Tommy O’Connor, a senior at Irvington High School, found himself facing that exact scenario after leaving a 7-Eleven in Fremont, California, and spotting a wallet lying on the ground.

As per The Mercury News, he discovered a wad of $100 bills inside. So many, in fact, that it would later transpire there was $2,300 in cash all told. Thus Tommy was presented with a predicament …

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It’s a conundrum most of us like to think we’d come out whilst holding onto our integrity. Nevertheless, things are no doubt different when you’re actually in the situation and that small devil named human nature pipes up to whisper his misgivings.

Fortunately, Tommy held fast to his principles and decided he would find the wallet’s rightful owner. There was a problem, though, when he couldn’t find a name or address along with the money.

Instead, he took the wallet to his para-educator, Andre Gomez, at the high school. “He was so concerned about finding the wallet’s owner,” Andre recalled. “No other option even occurred to him. He immediately knew what he had to do.”

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After a more thorough search, Tommy and Andre found a Veteran’s Identification Card inside the wallet, which included a name. From there, the pair went 

The reunion took place, with the vet revealing that the money was for his rent, and as such invaluable to him. He rewarded Tommy with $50 and thanked him for his kindness.

Heart of gold

Yet the plot thickens further. It turned out that Tommy had more reason than most to take the money and keep it for himself upon finding the wallet. The teen’s family lives from paycheck to paycheck, and just the day before his discovery Tommy didn’t even have enough money to buy his own lunch.

Speaking to KPIX 5, Tommy’s father said: “With us living month-to-month, it is a big chunk of money and I’m so proud of him that he did that.”

And so he should be proud. Tommy’s actions give credence to the idea that the world can still be a good and just place, where people help one another not because they have to, but because it’s the right thing to do.

Not only that but upon hearing what her son had done, Tommy’s mother sent him a loving text to say how “very proud” she was of her son. In true Tommy style, though, it was his response that speaks the highest about his character. “Ms. Kalra called me. Wow, your one in a million. Love you to the moon and back,” the mom’s text read.

He replied merely: “You should be thanking yourself. You raised me.”

Tommy could so easily have taken the money to alleviate his or his family’s own troubles, and most probably no one would have been any the wiser. The fact that he didn’t, though, can be used as a source of inspiration for people all over the world. In the end, his story is worth so much more than $2,300, because it’s spreading a message of goodwill and strength of character … and such things are priceless.

If you think Tommy is a stand-up citizen, share this article on Facebook so that more people might learn from his example!