Gerrell McAllister, a cashier at a pet store in Takoma woke up to a big surprise one morning. He got an email saying “You’ve Got Money!”
McAllister had not had his coffee that morning, so he automatically thought that the message was spam. “I knew it wasn’t mine. Nobody would sent that amount without knowing me.”
Once he realized that it was not a misunderstanding, he knew he had to send the money back. It was meant to go to Melissa Trusler, a resident of Seattle who was supposed to get the money as a gift for her 30th birthday party.
She was so happy to have her money back, she posted about McAllister’s good deed online. Strangers then began to send money to his PayPal in increments of $20 to $100.
McAllister is touched by the donations, but he has not yet checked the balance total of his Paypal account.
He reads each note that comes in with every donation because the “people are sending some great, uplifting stuff and I’m glad to be an inspiration because they’re inspiring me in return.”
While Mr McAllister sent an email asking Ms Trusler to share the story with her family and friends to break down stereotypes (he is a black man, and Takoma isn’t known for affluence), he said that he had no idea that people would start sending him money. Instead, he did it following his late mother’s example, and to be a good role model for his “energetic, caring, sweet, and kind” five-year-old daughter.
“She thinks it’s great,” Mr McAllister said when asked how his daughter reacted to what he’d done. “She loves the fact that I’m as caring as she is, because she’s super caring. She cares about everything. She loves it, and she got the message right away. I didn’t even have to explain it to her.” When his daughter quickly summed up the reason why he told her about giving the money back (“You’re trying to teach me to care about other people”) Mr McAllister nearly teared up.