Paying it Forward, GoPro Style

Aug 22, 2013 | 0 comments

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I was casually perusing the community Facebook group, Nome Post, to see what sort of things were going on. Something caught my eye:

My father-in-law found a GoPro Hero 2 camera on Dexter Creek (behind Anvil Mtn.) with winter outdoor footage from January of 2011. If it’s yours or you know whose it is, post or call [Name and number]. We hope to reunite it with its owner! Thanks!

My heart stopped. Could it be? I had a flashback to this past winter when I devastatingly lost my GoPro Hero2 while snowshoeing in that same area. I had felt horrible about it for days, having saved up for months and had just bought it for myself. 

I felt even guiltier when I received a package in the mail a few weeks later containing a new GoPro Hero3: my grandmother had heard about what happened and got me a new one as a gift. I know she had loving intentions, but the guilt has weighed me down ever sense. I didn’t deserve it at all, though I was eternally grateful. I have guarded that Hero3 with my life, and as you can probably see from my blog, it gets a lot of use. 
Well, I immediately messaged the person who put up the post, and called her on my lunch break. 
“Yes, it must be yours!” she agreed, “it had footage of a young girl in a turquoise jacket with 3 friends snowshoeing!” 
I could hardly keep my voice calm and steady through my excitement. That camera had been sitting on the tundra for 7 months through 3 seasons, and her father-in-law just happened to find it while berry picking. 
She asked what I planned to do with the camera.
“Um, probably keep it?” I said lamely. I hadn’t even thought about that yet.
“Okay. Well if you’d consider selling it later maybe, my son was kind of eyeing it if no one claimed it, since he goes fishing a lot and has been wanting one to take on trips.”
After I hung up, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and what I could do to thank this family for finding my camera, and taking the time to identify who it belonged to, and even coming by my office to drop it off.
When she arrived in late afternoon, I thanked her deeply and told her to keep it. First she kind of freaked out, but I was already taking out the SD card with my footage on it (that’s really all I wanted) and handing it back. Because my grandmother had been so incredibly generous to me, and this woman had been so gratuitously kind, I had the opportunity to pay it forward to her. And it felt amazing.
After trying to refuse a couple times, she finally gave me a big hug and said her 12-year-old son would be thrilled. Heck, I was thrilled! I still can’t believe it was found.
It’s not every day you have the opportunity to give back in a big way, but in this case, it was because of the kindness and generosity of others that I felt I could truly convey my gratitude and pass on the good karma. It was one of those things that you always hear about happening to other people, but I guess it can happen to me, too. 
My faith in humanity has been restored. 
Really bad picture of me from the SD card, the day the camera
was lost 😛


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