Anonymous panhandler gives $35 cash to Animal Rescue League
By Chris Togneri
Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Even before she opened the letter, Meadow Fallon knew this one was different.
Fallon opens the mail every morning at Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania in Larimer.
The letter, stamped “international air mail” and postmarked from Israel, had no return address, no name.
“About one year ago, I stood on Murray Avenue collecting money,” the letter began. “I was broke and needed to eat so I collected money under the name of the Animal Rescue League of Western PA. Really, it was charity fraud.”
The writer signed the letter: “A man trying to improve his life.”
It contained $35 — the amount that the repentant man said he collected while panhandling on Murray Avenue, which runs in Greenfield and Squirrel Hill.
“I was just shocked,” Fallon recalled. “It was totally unsolicited. We never even knew this person had done that.”
The letter came months ago but Fallon kept it, pinned to a bulletin board above her desk. Last week, she posted it on the shelter's Facebook page with the message: “We want him to know that all is forgiven.”
The responses — most praising the man for making amends — came at once.
“Way to go Mystery Man,” one poster replied. “We ALL make mistakes in life...God Bless you:)”
Another wrote: “Yeah this definitely just turned my day around. :) Some people aren't selfish... love it.”
Shelter staff members doubt they will discover who sent the letter, but Fallon said receiving it “kind of restores your faith in humanity.”
“This whole scenario was very unusual,” said development director Cathy Oskin. “It just goes to show you how, in yet another way, animals can change your life and make you a better person.”
Chris Togneri is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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