After realizing his leather wallet had slipped out of his pocket during a trip to the Starbucks in Sharon Heights in Menlo Park, Dr. Julian Gomez figured it was gone for good.
"I searched all over. I was thinking about calling the credit card companies to cancel," he said, adding that a few "unprintable" expletives ran through his mind.
Though empty of cash (he had been about to visit the credit union), the wallet contained his driver's license and other essentials, leaving him in a tight spot.
When Gomez dejectedly returned to his Midtown Palo Alto home, however, he found a heart-warming surprise: his wallet had been returned, along with $200 cash and an anonymous note.
"Found September X, 2011
Starbucks, Sharon Heights shopping center
Empty of cash, alas; but I had some good fortune lately and this seemed a good opportunity to share it," the note read.
"It was such a shocker, I am in awe," he said, that someone would not only take the time to drive the wallet all the way to his home but offer the extra cash to boot.
Gomez conferred with his two teen children and decided to donate the windfall to local charities.
"I said, 'we don't really need this, we have a moral obligation to give it to someone who does need it,'" he said.
They settled on Save the Bay and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, donating $100 to each.
"Thank you very much for the effort in bringing my wallet back to me, that was such a kindhearted effort," Gomez said he'd like to tell his Good Samaritan.
"And thank you for the thought of giving me some cash to get by. I made sure to spend it forward in the same kind of spirit," he said.