A few days before Christmas, retail supervisor Nevin Sandau was cleaning up his store in Anchorage, Alaska. He noticed a vintage Spider-Man wallet in the lost and found bin. Curious about finding the wallet’s owner, he opened it to see what was inside.
“There was $45 dollars in cash, a Christmas list and a baseball photo of a boy with tiny plastic glasses on,” Nevin said.
He took the photo out, flipped it over and found the boy’s name and a phone number.
Determined to get the wallet back into the boy’s hands, Nevin called that day and left a voicemail.
Paying it forward
Instead of just returning the wallet as-is, Nevin had an idea to spread some holiday cheer — after all it was the season of giving. Given the hype around the recently released new Spider-Man movie and seeing the themed wallet cued Nevin to add a special surprise: A $25 gift card to a movie theater.
“I just saw the moment and I thought, ‘I’m gonna make this happen,’” Nevin said.
To keep the gift a true surprise, he signed the note “From your friends at Best Buy.”
A few days later, the boy and his father came back to the store and picked up the superhero wallet. The boy was relieved and excited to find the contents intact, as well as the gift card.
Asher Dymoke, the store’s general manager, was touched by Nevin’s generosity and the inspiration it provided other employees.
“That’s the best part for me,” Asher said. “I’m so lucky to be surrounded by compassionate and caring people who find those opportunities to spread happiness in the world.”
To show their gratitude, the boy and his father delivered a box of donuts to the store a few days later. Taped on the box was a handwritten thank-you note from the boy — complete with a hand-drawn yellow Best Buy tag.
“My heart was so warm,” Nevin said. “I was excited to see the full circle of it.”
He reflected on the power of a small gesture: “When you’re little, you’re never gonna forget that.”