1. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

    Wow. This story struck me harder than probably any other (of the personal-interest variety) within the last several months:

    WFAA (Dallas): Dallas Keeps $2k Found by Honest Teen

    Seems that 15-year-old lass Ashley Donaldson stumbled upon two thousand dollars in a Dallas parking lot last February. With a level of honesty that I imagine many folks don’t possess, Ms. Donaldson turned the money in to a local bank, “lost and found” style. From the article:

    The 15-year-old Shepton High School student spotted the money on the ground and took it to a nearby Chase Bank.

    Over the last three months, the bank and Dallas police have tried to find the owner, but have had no luck.

    On Tuesday, police said under a new city policy, the unclaimed money will go into Dallas’ general fund — not back to the person who found it, as in years past.

    Ummm … excuse me? To the city’s general fund? What what?

    “We appreciate your honesty,” said Dallas police spokesman Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse. “We’re going to put the money to good use. It’s not going to be wasted, but put to good use for the City of Dallas.”

    A fine kick in the pants that is. Well, at least we can state that Ms. Donaldson learned a fine lesson from this: Never trust the government.

    An expensive lesson, to be sure, but one best learned at age 15, I guess.

    Story Update (One I Really Like)

    I can freely admit that I was fairly ticked off after reading the story above. But it turns out my peeved-ness didn’t last long:

    WFAA (Dallas): Anonymous Donor Helps Honest Teen

    While it isn’t exactly the ending I would’ve chosen, this one will do:

    In February, Ashley found $2,000 in the parking lot at the Pavillion Center in North Dallas. Instead of keeping it, she turned it in, thinking she would get the money back if it was not claimed.

    Three months later, under a new policy, the City of Dallas told her the unclaimed money will go into a general fund and not back to the finder.

    But an anonymous donor from Fort Worth has stepped in a check for $4,000 to reward Ashley’s honesty — and to help her family.

    It’s worth noting that the Donaldson family — four siblings and two parents — were living in a one-bedroom apartment at the time that Ashley found the two thousand dollars. My admiration for her (and her parents’) honesty is about as stout as it could be.

    At school on Wednesday, Ashley said her teacher turned on a TV news report about her discovery. “It just really made me think of how many people would’ve done the opposite thing, and it made me feel even more proud of myself,” she said, adding this:

    “Stand for what you believe is right, no matter what anyone says, no matter what they might think, it really doesn’t matter. You have to know that you did the good thing.”

    And also that right after you’ve done your “good thing,” the government will be along in about five minutes:

    “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help.”

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  2. 3 Responses to "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished" ...

    1. On May 13, 2011 @ 9:26 pm,
      MBTN wrote:

      I don’t agree completely with your characterization here. How was the girl punished for turning in the money? Unless I am missing something, she wasn’t fined for turning in the money. When you turn in money like that, your expectation should be that you aren’t going to get rewarded in any way, shape, or form. Yes, it would have been nice if she had gotten a reward for it, but if your expectation is that you are going to get some benefit from it, then it isn’t a “good deed”. A truly good deed is when you do something without any ulterior motive.



    2. On May 24, 2011 @ 11:35 pm,
      Super Frugalette wrote:

      I am really pleased that someone was able to reward Ashley for doing the right thing. Often in life, we aren’t rewarded for doing the right thing.



    3. On November 3, 2011 @ 1:49 pm,
      Edward wrote:


      I agree she would have turned it in without any expectations of reward, HOWEVER the money does not belong to the City of Dallas.

      They STOLE it under the guise of “law”.

      If the TRUE owners could not be found, it should go to the person who found it. Government theft should never be condoned under any circumstances. Whoever voted for that law should be expeditiously be voted out of office.



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