Everyone has lost a wallet at some point—your favorite billfold or pocketbook missing in the streets of the Quarter, never to be seen again.
However, according to WAFB9, for one Louisiana boy, Kyler Gafford, fate was on his side. After six long years, his camouflage wallet with three $1 bills, one $5 bill, and a baseball picture of a young Kyler with his name on the back was finally returned.
"All I did was return a little kid's wallet," said David "Stoney" Barrow. "I had no idea it was going to turn out like this."
With only the picture to go on, Barrow had, on many occasions, tried to find Kyler, but the Gafford family was in Baton Rouge for a wedding at the time of its loss, complicating the process. "Me and my two daughters tried to track them down, but we couldn't find them," said Barrow. "Flood came on [in 2016], and I put the wallet up high on a shelf."
Barrow couldn't have known that the Gafford family was experiencing the same disaster. Their house in Amite flooded, and they were forced to rebuild everything. And not only did the family experience a flood in the years since the wallet was lost, but on the night of the birthday of Kristen Gafford, Kyler's mother (which was on December 26, 2014), Kyler's younger brother Koltyn nearly drowned.
"He is not the same child," said Kristen. "He's now a special-needs child."
The family's return from the hospital was commemorated by a front-page article in the paper and a parade of people waiting in town. It is this article that caught the attention of Barrow, when he restarted his search six years later.
Barrow enlisted his boss's wife, Janet Branch, to help find the boy's family. They finally found Kristen through her work, and she told them that they could just send the wallet through the mail.
However, because he had read the article on the Gafford family and had held onto the wallet for so long, Barrow was resolute that they meet in-person. "I offered to meet him somewhere. He was very adamant in saying that he doesn't mind coming all that way."
He brought along some gifts for the boys: a baseball bat with the year he lost the wallet for Kyler and a t-shirt for Koltyn. "There have been a lot of people who knew him and shared that this is something I expected him to do," said Kristen.
A post detailing the story has since gone viral and is a testament to small kindnesses.
"I didn't think it would be this big," said Barrow, who simply wanted to see the Gafford children smile.