Low-income dad in Tacoma gives back $1,200 sent to him by mistake

SEATTLE, Wash. -- For some, an accidental payment of $1,200 would be hard to turn away.

But for Tacoma's Gerrell McAllister, a 28-year-old father of one, it was never a question. And his quick choice to return the money has become the latest heartwarming bright spot in the often dark landscape of the 24-hour news cycle.

The story starts with Seattle's Melissa Trusler and her dad. Trusler's birthday was last week, and her dad wanted to give her money to buy a couch. So he sent $1,200 via PayPal with a birthday message that said, "you've got money."

But Trusler's dad sent the money to her old phone number -- which now belongs to McAllister.

Within minutes, McAllister realized the money was not meant for him, so he sent it back to the father. He sent the refund along with a note that said "Tell her I said happy birthday."

Relieved and beyond grateful, Trusler sent McAllister a thank-you note. He sent her a note back, and asked if Trusler shared the story, she could tell people he was a "low income 28 year old Black man from Tacoma with a 5 year old daughter."

He hoped the good deed would be "helpful in improving race relations" and improving the giving culture Western Washingtonians work hard for.

Trusler was so impressed, she posted her story to Facebook.

Almost immediately, Trusler's friends asked for McAllister's number, so they could give send him money in appreciation of his thoughtful ways.

Trusler's post quickly grew in popularity, and it wasn't long before both she and McAllister were approached by news outlets like BuzzFeed and the Today Show.

Q13 News has reached out to both McAllister and Trusler, but have not yet had the opportunity to interview them.

Kudos, Gerrell and Melissa. Your story has certainly gone a long way in keeping Western Washington maintain its amazing culture.

You can donate to McAllister's PayPal by clicking the link in Trusler's Facebook post.