What would you do if you found $4,000 cash, just sitting in a parking lot?
Shannon Baker, 27, of Crown Point, did the right thing. She turned in the money at the Merrillville police station.
Sgt. Bob Morgan contacted The Times about two weeks after Baker took the money to the station, looking for help in the search for the money's owner.
After a short article in some editions July 19, a Crown Point woman who read the story contacted Morgan, described the exact amount, the denomination of the bills, the color of the bands around the cash and the type of envelope the money was in.
If no one had claimed the money after 180 days, it would have gone to Baker, under the state's version of the "finders keepers" principle everyone learns in childhood.
That money would have come in handy for Baker. Her baby boy was born July 25, just 20 days after she found the money.
Baker and her husband were both unemployed, and neither car was working.
But Baker said she had no regrets after turning in that money. As her 7-year-old daughter said about thoughts of pocketing it, "Isn't that stealing?"
Baker had to think about whether to turn in the money, but decided even though she needed the money, she "didn't feel right keeping it."
It's refreshing to hear of honesty like this. Deciding to turn in that $4,000 found in a parking lot, even though she could very much use that money herself, is an inspiring story. Good for her!
In fact, that story is so inspiring that it deserves to be shared. Spread the news about this instance and use it as a teachable moment in your family, your Sunday school class, your company newsletter and more.
Talk about what you would have done if you had found the money. Do some deep soul-searching.
Hopefully, you, your family, your friends, your co-workers will eventually be prepared to do the right thing -- turn in the money -- if you find yourself in a situation similar to the one Baker was in last month when she found that envelope full of cash.