A homeless community banded together to help find a woman's lost diamond ring.
Trinda Gajek accidentally gave her 14-carat gold ring with square-cut diamonds to a homeless youth, according to the Times-Colonist. She said she ran into the young homeless man while in a parking lot waiting for her partner to go to dinner. She dumped out all the change she had in her wallet into the man's hands and drove away.
Later, she remembered she previously placed her diamond ring in her wallet's zippered change purse for safe keeping. She was devastated to find it missing.
A local homeless man, Raymond Ahlstrom, heard about Gajek's story from a reporter and decided to help. He went out into the street community to find the man Gajek accidentally gave the diamond ring to.
Ahlstrom eventually tracked the man down, saying that the young man was living in a tent. When he asked if the man still had the ring, the homeless youth handed it over.
"He’d been keeping it safe in his water bottle," said Ahlstrom.
Ahlstrom met up with Gajek and returned the ring. Gajek said the ring has sentimental value and that she found it in a jewelry store years ago while she was with her two children, who were in high school at the time.
"[My children] said, ‘You should buy it.’ But I said I had no money. So they ran out of the store to an ATM and pooled their money,” Gajek explained. "They said ‘We’re going to buy this ring for you. You’ve been a good mom.’ They put their money down on the table and I covered the rest. What else could I do?"
Ahlstrom is well known in the neighborhood for being a Good Samaritan and helping those in need, according to Chek News.
"If there's anybody in the neighborhood that needs anything, Ray's right there like that," said Ahlstrom's friend Willy Curry. "No word of a lie."
Gajek, who lives in Nanaimo, Canada, was incredibly surprised, yet grateful, to be reunited with the ring. When she met up with Ahlstrom in person, she pulled him into a hug to express her gratitude.
"Restored faith, hope all of that," she said. "I mean, it's incredible."
Gajek gave Ahlstrom a generous cash reward and strangers touched by the story are also pitching in with gift cards and other donations, according to Chek News. Ahlstrom has also received a home and the community is collecting clothing and household items as a show of support.