Many teens are looking for novel ways to supplement their summer income. After browsing YouTube for ideas, 16-year-old Shane Jones came up with a plan that he thought might get him some extra spending money.
However, it was only after putting the wheels in motion that he found that turning his money-making plan into a nonprofit would provide him with much more satisfaction.
A DIY video detailing the steps for buying salvaged storage units online and selling the content appealed to Shane’s entrepreneurial spirit. Taking $ 100 he had saved from working at a used bookstore last August, he bid on his first unit and won.
Under the terms of the auction, Shane purchased the unit without being seen, but when he realized that the contents contained a host of personal treasures that were likely worth more to their former owners than any potential resale value, the experience was eye-opening. .
“I started out thinking that bidding on a storage auction was like a garage sale, but now I know that’s not true,” Shane said. The Washington Post. “These people did not choose to give me these things. They had no choice. It’s almost like a duty to return it. “
A little investigation revealed that the original owner of the unit was in prison. Feeling that the man had not voluntarily turned over the batch of memorabilia and documents, with the help of his parents, Shane was able to locate the imprisoned man’s mother and return her possessions.
The grateful mother was so touched by Shane’s thoughtful actions that he was inspired to keep the momentum going. While the owners of the second unit Shane bought had passed away, the clues inside led him to heirs to whom he was able to pass a ton of family heirlooms.
The owner of Shane’s third storage auction turned out to be a woman whose life had taken a downward spiral. After losing a baby to sudden infant death syndrome, she eventually lost her job, too. Despite the fact that the locker contained the valuable keys to her past, baby items and family photos, she had not been able to afford its upkeep.
Shane contacted the locker’s former owner, who had since moved to Connecticut from Rhode Island, and arranged for an appointment on his front porch to return his belongings. When he arrived, the teenager’s kindness moved her to tears.
The high school sophomore was recently recognized for his incredible good deeds with recognition from the South Kingstown School District. Facebook page. While congratulations are appreciated, his mother, Sarah Markey, hopes that her son’s compassion and caring actions will motivate others to follow suit.
“I could not be more proud of this child, for taking another step, for people he does not know. It’s actually a lot of work that goes into this effort, ”Sarah told the Post. “And I think part of what he has learned from meeting people to whom he has gifted this kindness is that putting good in the world is one of the most rewarding things you can do.”
A simple lesson, perhaps, but certainly one that we could all benefit from learning.
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