John McMonagle was in a hurry that day. So, he parked his car, locked the doors, and walked away for his meeting in Clydebank, Glasgow, without realizing that one of his windows was down. And sitting just within the reach of any passerby was his handbag.
After a while, someone did pass by and notice the open window. He also noticed the unprotected handbag. The owner was nowhere in sight and the lonely street was clear of any witnesses. It would have been a simple matter for the man to pluck the handbag from the car and keep walking.
Instead, James John McGeown, a man who had been homeless for quite a while, decided to stand guard over the bag and wait for its owner to turn up.
Two and a half hours passed, and McMonagle hadn’t come back. McGeown was drenched from a steady downpour, but he was more worried about abandoning his post. What if the bag got stolen?
So, finally, he decided to check whether there was anything valuable inside the handbag and reached inside to pull it out. Hesitantly checking the contents, McGeown found 450 pounds (approx. US$601)! That’s when McGeown made up his mind; he took out a piece of paper, wrote the owner a note, and left with the bag in tow.
Sometime later, when McMonagle showed up, he immediately noticed the missing handbag and the note left in its place. Fearing the worst, he picked it up and read a simple direction: He would find his handbag safe in the nearest lawyer’s office.
McMonagle couldn’t believe his luck when he got his handbag back. McGeown returned to check on the car after McMonagle had gone looking around for the good Samaritan who’d spent hours protecting his property.
The owner of “McMonagles,” a fish-and-chip floating restaurant, couldn’t have been happier to meet the kind stranger. It occurred to him that McGeown had risked being mistaken for a thief when he picked up the bag, but he had risked it to keep a stranger’s property safe!
McMonagle spoke to the man for a while, learning that they support rival football teams and a little bit about McGeown’s situation. By the end of the conversation, McMonagle was determined to do more for the homeless man than give him 40 pounds (approx. US$53) of the money he saved.
When he got back to his office, McMonagle decided to start a GoFundMe page for McGeown. His intention was to raise 5,000 pounds (approx. US$6,683) to help McGeown get back on his feet.
But, soon, the donations came pouring in, and he exceeded his initial target by 300 percent! The restaurateur decided that after handing McGeown the initial 5,000, he’d donate the money to help homeless people in the Clydebank, Glasgow, area.
In the meantime, the story went viral, and a generous individual even offered a job and living accommodations for McGeown.
Now, McMonagle is heading back to Sheriff Court, where this tale began, to hunt down his homeless benefactor, and this time, he plans to repay McGeown in full!