Ra Rim and her husband Sa are Cambodian immigrants that survived the brutal Khmer Rouge regime by spending four years entrapped in a hard labor prison camp. Immigrating to the United States, the Rim family started a new life for themselves but never forgot about their homeland. The Rim family saved money to finally return to their country when an unexpected thing happened.
Rim’s small green purse was dropped and in it was the $4,000 intended for their trip to Cambodia. Walking on a sidewalk by a Sam’s Club in Maine, 3rd grader Abbie Jacobson was walking with her parents when she found the little purse. On top of the $4,000 there was some Cambodian currency, jewelry and a debit card with Ra Rim’s name on it.
Although the Jacobson family, like many American families, sometimes struggle financially, there was no hesitation to what they should do with the found money. The family notified the police, as well as the bank that issued the debit card and felt satisfied that they had done the right thing.
Ra Rim was contacted by the bank and her belongings were returned to her but the Rim family asked to meet the amazing family that had done the right thing. The meeting between the two families was a heart touching event, in which Ra began crying and instantly gave Abbie a huge hug.
The Rims were able to go on their trip and the Portland Press Herald picked up the story on Abbie Jacobson, the 3rd grader that did the right thing, after receiving an email from the teacher of Chansatha Rim, Ra’s daughter. During an interview with the Portland Press Herald, Abbie was asked what she would have done with the $4,000 if she kept it and she said she would have went to a Justin Bieber concert.
The story caught the attention of John Everets, the Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Bank of Maine, and he decided to give Abbie the Justin Bieber tickets she so badly wanted. When Jacobson’s parents were interviewed by Shine, they said, “A lot of people have asked us why Abbie gave the money back. But we always taught our kids, whatever is in your heart, you do the right thing. And it has paid off. Abbie wants to start a blog where kids can share stories of hope and inspiration. She’s humble, but I know that inside she’s beaming.”