NEW YORK (WFLA/WCBS) – A woman says her faith in humanity is restored after a good Samaritan returned $10,000 to her.
The two New Yorkers were strangers until Richard Taverna returned Aiya Tulemaganbetova’s money.
Tulemaganbetova gave Taverna a golden statue of a soldier, which symbolizes strength and honor in her home country of Kazakhstan.
Taverna discovered her purse on the platform at the 66th Street station back in December.
Inside was 100 $100 bills.
He turned it over to police who realized the missing money had been reported a day earlier by Tulemaganbetova.
Through a translator, she told news media she accidentally let her bag on a subway bench while in a rush to make her flight back home for the holidays.
She said all the money was meant to buy her children’s Christmas presents and she never thought she’d get it back…until she got a call with the good news.
“Richard is an extremely honest person and what he’s done changed her perception of how people live in the United States,” her translator said.
“It pretty much wasn’t mine and I knew somebody was in a pretty bad shape at that point — was pretty upset so it was never any question about turning it in,” Taverna said.
Grateful for getting all her money back, Tulemaganbetova decided to pay it forward by donating $1,000 to a children’s charity in Taverna’s name.