“Dianne is a perfect example of integrity and selflessness even in her own time of need.”

It’s been a bit of a rough road for 65-year-old grandmother Dianne Gordon. Last February, her car broke down and she hasn’t had the financial means to replace it.

For the past year, she has been walking nearly three miles (2.7 to be exact) each way to and from her job in the deli at VC Fresh Marketplace. Five days a week, snow, rain, or shine.

It was a walk that would eventually take her in a direction she never expected.

What Happened During a Routine Walk Home From Work

Dianne was walking home from work one cold day in January when she decided to pop into the BP gas station to warm up and grab a snack.

As she was about to enter the store, something on the ground caught her eye. She was shocked by what she found.

“I looked down on the ground and found a plastic bag with a large sum of money in it,” Dianne told Fox2 Detroit. “When you turned it over, there was even more money.” Nearly $15,000, in fact.

While some people may live by the motto, “finders keepers,” Dianne is not one of those people. Despite the fact that the money would be life-changing for her, she didn’t hesitate. Ziplock bag in hand, Dianne went inside, notified the cashier, and immediately called the White Lake Police.

“It never really crossed her mind to do anything other than turn it over,” said Lt. Matthew Ivory, one of the police officers assigned to the case.

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Fortunately, it didn’t take the police long to discover who the rightful owners were. In addition to $14,780 in cash, the bag also contained a number of wedding cards, addressed to a couple whose wedding ceremony had occurred earlier that day.

The lucky newlyweds were “overwhelmed with gratitude at Gordon’s honesty,” as per the Washington Post.

They weren’t the only ones impressed by Dianne’s selfless actions. Police Chief Dan Keller of the White Lake Township Police Department was too.

“She didn’t hesitate, she didn’t question it,” Keller told the Post. “This doesn’t happen very often, that someone finds a large sum of money and turns it in.”

“Some people would do that, and some people wouldn’t,” he continued. “She didn’t give it a second thought.”

Selfless Woman’s Actions Inspire Her Community

woman receives a new car
Fox2 Detroit News

For her part, Dianne doesn’t think she did anything special. “If it doesn’t belong to you, you don’t keep it,” she said. “I didn’t do anything special. All I did was return something that didn’t belong to me.”

However, what she did WAS special. So special that it prompted the wife of one of the police officers to step up and take action. Stacy Connell decided to start a GoFundMe to raise funds to buy Dianne a car.

“As a police officer’s wife, I typically hear the bad things, so this was obviously heartwarming,” said Connell. “I was hoping we could help her get a car since she could have walked into any dealership and used that money.”

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On February 7, thanks to nearly 3,000 donations totaling a whopping $82,675 and with the help of Szott Automotive, Connell’s hope became a reality. Dianne is now the proud owner of a brand new green Jeep Compass, complete with a steering wheel warmer and a back-up camera.

In an update on the GoFundMe Connell wrote, “Thank you everyone, the support has been overwhelming! Dianne officially signed for her new Jeep Compass yesterday at Szott M-59 in White Lake Township. Along with the new car she also got an extended warranty, maintenance, insurance and plates/tabs.”

Dianne Gordon Plans to Pay It Forward

In addition to a new set of wheels, the remaining money will be used for much-needed home renovations and possibly a road trip or two.

Dianne is beyond grateful for the generous outpouring of support from strangers who were moved by her honesty and selflessness. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of them,” she said.

Now that she has a new ride, the first on her list of things to do is drive to see her granddaughter’s gymnastics competition. Something she hasn’t been able to do in over a year.

She also plans to pay it forward by giving lifts to her co-workers. “I’ll give them a ride home and pay it forward,” she said.

When she was faced with temptation, Dianne chose to do the right thing and by doing so, she was rewarded many times over. As Connell wrote in the GoFundMe description, Dianne truly is “a perfect example of integrity and selflessness even in her own time of need.”