Drugs and the wrong friends led Dave Tally into a lifestyle that rendered him homeless. He was sleeping in the basements of churches in Tempe, Arizona. After a local charity helped him to regain his sobriety, Tally landed a part time job there. His only form of transportation was a bicycle and when it broke Tally couldn’t afford to fix it.
One day, Tally found a backpack full of cash on the sidewalk. He struggled with himself over what he should do next.
“I went into survival mode,” Tally said. He thought about all the things he could do for himself with the money. In the end, Tally’s sense of honor led him to make a different choice. He said it wasn’t easy but he decided to return the money.
Dave asked his boss at the local charity where he worked to track down the money’s owner. The owner turned out to be a college student who was taking the money to buy a car when it was lost. The student, Brian Belanger, said he was moved to try to pay the good deed forward. He’s planning to volunteer with the community’s outreach program.
Meanwhile, Dave’s integrity moved some local strangers to donate money. One man approached Dave and handed him an envelope. When he opened it after the man had left, he found it contained $100.
“I can’t believe all this is going on,” said Tally.
People from multiple states heard about Tally’s plight and good deed and began sending him money too. He eventually collected enough donations to fix his bike.
“In my time on the streets I’ve met some of the most intelligent people who just made bad choices,” said Tally. “They’re everyday people that have a different way of life right now.”
Years later, a check up on Tally reveals he received more donations and had managed to move into an apartment of his own. Now, Tally reveals it wasn’t just a bag of money he found. It was a whole new approach. That one moment changed his entire life.
Tally also says his experience has had another positive effect.
“I’ve been stopped several times by other homeless people. They tell me that since all this attention has been brought onto homeless people, that people maybe look at them in a little different way. That right there is more important than anything.”
Catch up with the new Dave Tally in the second video, below.