Shining moments: The value of integrity

My husband, Curley, his brothers Clarence and Aaron, Aaron's wife, Maureen, and I had just begun a long-awaited trip when disaster struck. But thanks to the integrity of another, everything turned out all right.

Our itinerary included stops in Independence and Far West, Mo., as well as Salina, Kan., where Aaron and Maurine would see 4-year-old twin grandchildren for the first time. We each had put a certain amount of money into a bank bag from which all expenses of the trip would be paid and I was the "banker."Toward the end of the first day of the trip, we stopped for fuel at a truck stop in Cheyenne, Wyo. Later, at our motel, I reached into my purse for the bank bag only to find it missing. We returned to the truck stop and told the clerk of our plight. Because the bag was filled with cash, but no identification, we doubted we would ever see the money again. Just in case, though, we gave the clerk our name and address.

Several days after we returned home, we received a telephone call from Danielle Munk in Logan. She said: "You don't know me and I don't know you, but I think I have something that belongs to you."

She then told us that her husband, Allen, was a truck driver and found a bank bag in the parking lot of a truck stop in Wyoming. He had picked up the bag and taken it with him. As he traveled along the highway, he opened the bag and was surprised to see $900 in cash inside. He made a telephone call back to the truck stop in Cheyenne and the clerk gave him our name and address.

When he returned to Logan he put the money in the bank. Danielle tried to call us over and over before finally reaching us. She then sent us a check and the bank bag.

We later visited the Munks in Logan to thank them personally and discovered that they had been struggling through some tough times as the Christmas season approached when Allen found the money. The family had just moved from Oregon to Logan where Allen started a new job. As they tried to get back on their feet, they couldn't even afford a Christmas tree.

Allen could easily have taken the money he found and used it for his family's needs. But he blessed us because he valued integrity more than money.

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