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Stranger's action surprises man ; Secret Santa turns in lost money orders

A Secret Santa was looking out for one lucky Buffalo man.

Early Wednesday, Dangster Dean, a 30-year-old financial consultant, was picking up his morning coffee at the Tim Hortons in the HSBC Center downtown when he accidentally dropped an HSBC bank envelope.

Inside the bank envelope was a second smaller envelope with his name on it containing his mortgage payment -- two money orders totaling $800 -- which he was planning on mailing out later that day.

Dean didn't realize the envelope was missing right away. "I was running to the train and I realized I forgot my coffee," he recounted.

He ran back to the Tim Hortons and was grabbing the door when he looked down and saw a bank envelope.

He checked his bag and saw a side pocket was unzipped. And the envelope on the floor was empty.

"I was in panic mode," Dean said.

Dean called Tim Hortons later that day to see if anyone had turned the money orders in. All day at work he hoped in vain that perhaps he had just left them at home. When he returned home, "I ripped everything apart," he said. The money orders were gone.

He worried about the missing money all night and said more than a few prayers. But he wasn't hopeful.

"It's the holidays. It's Christmas," Dean remembered thinking. "I just thought I gave someone a Christmas gift."

Thursday morning, he decided he'd drop by the HSBC building again.

He went to the security desk and asked if anyone had turned in the money orders.

"They told me that they were there," Dean said.

A security guard brought out the missing envelope with Dean's name on it. The money orders were still inside.

Dean showed the guard his ID. "It's an uncommon name," Dean pointed out his first name. So the guard gave it back to him.

"I was just going, like, crazy," Dean said.

"I'm just overwhelmed that someone would do that so close to the holiday. It truly was a blessing."

Dean would love to be able to personally thank the person who turned the envelope in.

"I just need to know who that person was," he said. "I would love to send them a Christmas card or shake their hand or give them a hug. They saved me a lot of grief."

e-mail: mbecker@buffnews.com

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