[UPDATE 9 a.m. 2/1/2021: The GoFundMe Page Sam Hammes left open through this past weekend to tell the story of Iowa kindness and to repay the "$12 Impact" he received from Peter now totals over 450 times that amount: over $5,300]

If you don't believe in "Iowa nice" you will after reading this story.

Sam Hammes was at work on January 8, thinking about stopping at Hy-Vee on Oakland Road to get some groceries and suddenly realized he had forgotten his wallet. He borrowed $100 from a coworker but still ended up being short when he checked out, and that's when a cashier's humble act of generosity turned into an unforgettable and totally unexpected act of reciprocation.

It was just $12, so Hy-Vee cashier Peter Mbonabucha dropped the extra few bucks to help out Hammes. He thought nothing of it until several days later when Hammes was back, presenting Peter with a check for over $3,000. Peter basically got his own generosity paid back to him 300 times over.

Sam opened a GoFundMe page to raise a little something beyond the $12 to pay Peter back (and, he says, just to tell the story and add some light to the world). "The $12 Impact" fundraiser was sitting at $3,798 in donations as of this writing, and the public is invited to learn more about the story and make a contribution through at least this Sunday, January 31, here.

CBS2 posted a video of the reunion and check presentation. A returned favor, which for his part, Peter says he had forgotten about, but Sam did not, saying:

it was on my mind for a long time. It was a very kind gesture and (it's) something that'll stick with me forever.


Peter's response will remind us that simple forgetfulness happens to us all and what we take for granted can often be a big deal to others when it means helping one another when we're in a bind. "I have experienced many times - I run out of funds to buy what I need," Mbonabucha said, "And I have similar experiences - people I don't know covering the amount that I miss. When I see someone in the situation and I'm able to, I try to do my best."

It's not yet known how Peter will use the money, but there's no doubt it will impact his life.

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