Need your daily dose of wholesome today? Rhode Island teen Shane Jones will be glad to give it to you. He’s been purchasing old storage units and returning the items back to their original owners.
What started out as a hobby for this outstanding 16-year old turned into a whole mission.
It all began when Jones began to toy with the idea of buying storage units that were up for auction. “I watched different people who were buying them off YouTube,” he said to WJAR-TV. “I had some money saved from a job I worked last summer, so I bought one for about $100.”
He had always been fond of collecting second-hand things and figured this was the hobby to take on. “It’s just something fun to do,” he said. “I like recovering things.”
When the South Kingston High School sophomore purchased his first storage unit in Providence, he was excited to see what kind of “treasure” lay inside. However, his original plan – to sell off the items – quickly dissolved when he realized what he really wanted to do.
“I started off hoping to keep some of it and then throw out the rest, but then I realized this isn’t just something like yard sales where they gave it to me and sold it to me. This is where their stuff was taken because they couldn’t pay it,” Jones said. “There was mail and a lot of personal documents in a pile. That’s the time I realized this is not just junk. This is someone’s personal belongings that they lost.”
He soon found the former owner’s mother, who had been residing in a nursing home, and offered up all the belongings inside the storage unit.
“It was a nice thing to do. It felt good,” Jones said.
He went on to purchase two more units, one in Narragansett and another in Johnston. Again, Jones sought out the original owners.
With the Johnston unit, Jones detailed an especially bittersweet story: “It was a woman from Connecticut. She fell on hard times, couldn’t get the stuff back, and most of the stuff was baby stuff. Her baby passed away.”
They met so that the woman could claim her things. She ended up contacting Jones’s mother to let her know that she had cried because the things in the storage unit had been the last remnants of her baby.
When asked about the incident, Jones replied, “Gratitude, really a lot of gratitude. She was just really happy.”
He went on to say that he didn’t mind doing the good deeds when he had the extra funds. He stated, “It’s not mine. They didn’t purposely give it to me, so why let other people suffer as I succeed?”