Both he and 15-year-old Elian Ortiz had lost their wallets recently. However, the two were complete strangers until an act of kindness brought them together earlier this week.
“I stopped off here at the Walgreens to buy a birthday card and checked for my wallet and I couldn’t find it,” said Greene. “And I knew that I’d had it when I got in the car.”
At the same time, Ortiz was making the rounds on his skateboard as he usually does. He just visited Skate the Foundry, a skate shop perched on a hill just above the Walgreens. When he stopped by the convenience store for a drink, he found a wallet sitting alone in the parking lot.
“When I looked through it, it had all of these cards, IDs, all this important information that would really suck if someone else took it,” he said. “So I was like, let me do the right thing and bring it back to him.”
Ortiz found the proper address on the driver’s license contained inside. He plugged it into Google Maps and hit the road.
It was a slightly bumpy road from Walgreens to Greene’s house. Ortiz recalls scaling a large hill and even falling over once. But despite their different means of transportation, both Ortiz and Greene arrived at the same time.
“This dawned on me that he traveled, oh, I guess it’s maybe close to a mile from this Walgreens to my house to return my wallet,” said Greene. “So, I was obviously very thankful. Then, I just posted a message on our local community Facebook group. It kind of spread from there.”
Greene’s description of the story received more than 700 likes and dozens of comments from Elkins Park residents. After a few days of receiving positive feedback, Greene decided to meet Ortiz once more at Walgreens and deliver a thank you card.
“We get a lot of news stories about the bad things that kids do,” he said. “But I think the vast majority of kids, especially in our community, are good kids like Elian and do the right thing even when someone’s not looking.”
Ortiz hopes to continue performing good deeds and offering his time and resources to the community. The ninth-grade student has already started his own landscaping business, Eros and Friends Yard Work Co., and can be found shoveling snow for neighbors this time of year.
“My mom, my dad and my family, they just told me to always treat people how you want to be treated,” said Ortiz. “And they told me to always do the right thing, even if it doesn’t show any value to you.”
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