What would you do if you found $9,000 of cash hidden in laundry and no one was watching? Think of all the amazing things you could do with that money—and no one would even know.
Well, that actually happened to Steven Ledo. But he didn’t keep it for himself.
This heartwarming story begins with Ledo going about his regular routine of cleaning and folding laundry in the Rhode Island hospital where he has worked for the past 19 years.
He was drying a patient’s sheets when he noticed cash tumbling around in the dryer.
There were 20s, 50s and 100-dollar bills all caught up in the sheets. “I could see the money literally coming out of the dryer,” Ledo told ABC News. When he gathered it all up it came to $9,100.
Ledo could have done two things in this scenario—keep it or hand it in. It never occurred to him to keep the money for himself. His goal was to protect the cash he had found and track down the person who had lost it.
“I’ve never handled that much money. I was very shocked!” Ledo said.
Ledo set out to find the person whose cash it was.
Ledo quickly took the cash to his supervisor. He had also found a passport in with the laundry. Together with nurse manager Joe Gordon-Rezner, they used the passport information to find the owner of that money.
It was a stroke of luck that a passport was found with the cash, if not for that passport how could they have found the owner?
They found the owner, who was a patient at the hospital, and returned the cash.
The owner of the cash was very grateful to get it returned.
“I am not surprised at Steven’s response at all,” Arthur Sampson, president of Miriam Hospital, told ABC News. “He is an honorable man. He’s been a long-term employee and this is well within his character.”
Ledo was honored at a ceremony on August 30 and commended for displaying the “Miriam Gold Standard.”
Ledo’s story reminds us that we are all given the opportunity, at times, to make decisions that can lead to happiness on all fronts. Ledo’s decision brought happiness to himself, the owner of the cash, and the hospital.
When no one is watching you, you can truly get an understanding of your own character through the decisions you make.
Ledo says his honesty and integrity comes from how he was brought up. He credits his parents for raising him the right way, according to the Providence Journal.
“You’re brought up like that,” he told NBC 10 News. “There was no ‘ands, ifs, or buts’ about it. You want to be treated that way, you treat other people that way.”
Perhaps Ledo is right, that most people would have done what he did—after all, good nature is inherent in all of us, you just need the right opportunity to bring out your inner hero.
What would you have done?