Iowa college student’s lost wallet returned — with an encouraging note and extra $10

Nadine Kalinauskas
A photo inside the nearly 30-year-old wallet two West Haveners stumbled upon in Milford on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Credit: Jason Bagley

One morning in September, Iowa State University freshman Wes Monroe lost his wallet on his way to class. He left it on top of his car while filling up for gas and then drove away, leaving the wallet to fall onto an entrance ramp as he headed onto the highway.

"Yeah, I'm a forgetful person," Monroe told the Des Moines Register.

He assumed the wallet was gone forever.

Fortunately for Monroe, Laura Diers, a kind 41-year-old mother of four from Boone, Iowa, found the grey leather wallet on the side of the road, still containing Monroe's college ID, a photo of his girlfriend and his driver's license. There were no debit cards, credit cards or cash inside.

(Monroe had stashed his debit card in his pocket at the gas station before driving off.)

Diers decided to mail the wallet to its owner — with an extra $10 bill and an encouraging note.

"I found your wallet on the side of the road by Highway 30 in Ames. I know it is easy to get a new license but I thought you might like your wallet and the pictures inside of it," she wrote.

"I hope things are going well for you at ISU and you are all settled in. Study hard, but also have some fun & experience life!"

"I know it’s not much, but it’s always nice to have a little extra cash," she added, referring to the $10 bill she put in the wallet. "Enjoy a drink with a friend or put a drop of gas in your car."

"I've been in those positions where it would've been really nice to get some encouragement from somebody," Diers told the Des Moines Register.

Her act of kindness made Monroe's day.

"It takes a special individual to go out and do something like that," Monroe said.

Monroe, who called Diers' good deed "absolutely amazing," spent the $10 on gas.