Intergenerational Friendship Blossoms After Teen Finds and Returns Missing Wallet
Courtesy Dee Harkrider
Dee Harkrider had just finished a shopping trip at her local Walmart and didn't realize she'd left her wallet in a shopping cart.
Soon after she drove off, Delivontae Johnson, 19, steered his car into the lot of the same Walmart in Forrest City, Arkansas, in need of a new tire after hitting a pothole. After he motored into a space, Johnson noticed a black item in a cart: it was a wallet, containing Harkrider's driver's license, cash and bank cards.
"I had to try to find out who this lady was," Johnson tells PEOPLE, "and return her wallet."
Johnson used the 61-year-old's driver's license to find her through Facebook. After he sent a message that wasn't quickly returned, Johnson reached out to one of Harkrider's Facebook friends, Elaine Keown, who had "hearted" a photo on Harkrider's page.
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Keown called Harkrider and gave her the good news that Johnson was driving north to her home in Wynne to return the wallet.
But Harkrider was miles away in the opposite direction, visiting a friend in Palestine.
No matter. Johnson made a U-turn and the pair met in a restaurant parking lot in Palestine. "I gave him a big old hug," Harkrider tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "I'm relieved we have young people out there like him."
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Despite the age difference, Harkrider has befriended Johnson and his family, who live in Forrest City. She recently attended a Johnson family baby shower, and the teen has gone to services at Harkrider's church.
"I've got two grandsons, 17 years old, and Delivontae's like one of my own now," says Harkrider, a grandmother of seven who lives on disability. "I tell him I love him all the time."
Meanwhile, Johnson, in school to earn his commercial driving license, is heartened by what's grown out of his good deed.
"People nowadays, they have a lot of bad things to say about teenagers," he says. "My concern was returning the wallet to who it belonged to. I feel great now."