When a Manhattan fashion expert learned who found her purse on the train platform she lost it on, she was determined to track him down and thank him for his act of kindness. The purse contained a whopping $10,000 inside.
Aiya Tulemaganbetova was waiting for the train on the northbound platform at 66th Street Station. Little did she know that upon getting on the train, she had left her blue Chanel purse behind.
It was only when she arrived at 72nd Street that she Aiya realized that she had lost her purse. Despite frantically going back to where she came from and looking for the purse, it was nowhere to be seen and just like that, Aiya’s holiday plans were ruined.
She filed a report and desperately hoped for some answer. The fashion expert was on her way back to native Kazakhstan to visit her family. She was hoping to spend some of the money on Christmas presents for her children.
“She was feeling stressed when it happened,” Aiya’s translator said. “She was very upset because a portion of that money was to buy her children gifts for the holidays, so she was in shock when she got on that plane.”
Although her trip back to her home country was marred by the terrible thing that had happened, something else was happening back in the U.S. Around the time that Aiya had reached 72nd Street on that fateful day, a man picked up the purse and checked it.
Richard Taverna took the purse home and hoped to return it to its rightful owner. “People don’t usually carry around that much money so I was pretty surprised when I saw it,” he said. “It wasn’t mine, and I knew somebody was in pretty bad shape at that point, was pretty upset.”
When Aiya found out that Taverna had returned her purse to the police, she was over the moon and couldn’t wait to meet her hero. When she returned from Kazakhstan, Aiya met the man, giving him a gold statue of a soldier. She also donated $1,000 to a children’s charity in his honor.