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Tacoma man returns $1,200 to restore ‘faith in humanity’

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UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – A viral message on Facebook shows us all that there’s still hope in humanity.

Last week, a dad in Seattle tried to send his daughter money for her birthday. However, he typed in the wrong number into PayPal, sending the gift to a complete stranger.

“I saw an email that said, ‘You have money,’” said Gerrell McAllister.

So the 28-year-old McAllister checked his PayPal account on May 25 and found $1,200 deposited into his account from a stranger.

“They had sent an email to me requesting that I send it back and it was just instinctive to me. It was a no-brainer to just push that button,” said McAllister.

McAllister refunded the money.

It was supposed to go to Melissa Trusler. Her dad sent the $1,200 to Melissa’s old cell phone number that now belongs to McAllister.

“I knew it wasn’t mine. I knew it wasn’t for me,” said McAllister.

So surprised by Gerrell’s quick actions, Trusler posted the story on Facebook. She said McAllister told her he wanted to improve race relations by fighting back against negative stereotypes against black men like him.

“They might assume that I might be untrustworthy, trying to get over on whoever I come in contact with, that I’m low-class or don’t have morals,” said McAllister.

McAllister has proven he’s full of morals and definitely not low-class. He is low-income, after falling on hard times after his mother died in December.  He works part-time at a pet store to help support his 5-year-old daughter.

“To be selfless, I’m trying to teach her respect. I’m trying to teach her independence. All the things that my mom was,” said McAllister.

Gerrell knows his mother would be proud of him. So are so many people who don’t even know him. Strangers are now sending him money and messages on PayPal after hearing about his selfless act on social media.

“It shows that there are other good people out there and we’re unifying, hopefully, that means there’s still hope. There’s still faith in humanity for me,” said McAllister.

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