CENTER CITY (WTXF) - A simple act of kindness that saved Christmas.
It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving and all through Christmas Village in Center City, moms and dads were checking off the names on their naughty and nice lists. Kathy Beck was gathering the presents that would soon surround her family's tree.
That's when she made a surprise discovery.
"I saw a wallet laying on the floor."
She looked for an owner but the crowd bustled by.
Peeking Inside the small case Kathy realized she was holding the keys to someone's life. Colleen Decola-Heller's life.
"I have my driver’s license in there. I have my -- I don't even know what credit cards, I have my ATM card… what, now what."
Colleen counted all the headaches brewing in her head -- the trips to the DMV, the canceled credit cards just before Christmas. Meanwhile Kathy was finding returning the wallet to its rightful owner easier said than done.
"I took it over tried to give it to the police but they said they couldn't take it."
Officers promised the post office would be able to return the wallet if Kathy put it in a mailbox. But Kathy knew that could take weeks. Her compassion for her fellow man kicked in.
"That would take days maybe even longer by that time you're in full meltdown mode someone's out spending your money."
"If you can help someone you do,” Marianne Peterson, Kathy’s sister, said.
Kathy and her sister Marianne drove to the home on the ID. They left the wallet at Colleen's door thinking little of their good deed. Turns out it was a tiny holiday miracle. By the time a worried Colleen got home the wallet was waiting for her. She was stunned.
"It's like 25 miles out of her way and about an hour -- and that's not in traffic -- just to drop by wallet off at my front door. I could cry I thought that was so nice."
A simple act of kindness.
Yet big enough to save Christmas for one family.
The two women who have yet to meet, have a message for each other.
"Thank you for going out of your way for a complete stranger."
"Merry Christmas Colleen."
You never know the difference you can make for someone else.