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Your Tewksbury Today

Good Deed By 7-Year-Old Boy Saves The Day For One Family

Sep 30, 2015 11:36AM ● By Bill Gilman

Aiden Wright shows off some of the money he found at a Salem playground on Saturday. Photo by Dan Wright.

In the Frank Capra Christmas Classic "It's a Wonderful Life", Mr. Potter finds $8,000 that belongs to the savings and loan run by George Bailey. But instead of returning the cash, he pockets the money and nearly causes the collapse of the savings and loan and all kinds of problems for the community of Bedford Falls.
George and his family would have been better off had the money been found by Aiden Wright.
Seven-year-old Aiden, the eldest son of Tewksbury Attorney Ellen Wright, found exactly $8,000 while playing with his uncle on a playground in Salem. But unlike the wicked Mr. Potter, Aiden made the sure the money was returned to its rightful owner and likely brightened the upcoming holidays for one small business owner and his family.
"As a mom and a sister, I couldn't be more proud of my son and my brother," said Ellen Wright.
The unlikely story began Saturday, as Aiden was spending the day in Salem with his uncle, Dan Wright.
"We were going to go to Salem Willows but it was closed, so we went to Memorial Park. It has a playground and a World War II tank Aiden loves to play on," said Dan.
As they were getting ready to leave, Aiden headed up for one more trip down the slide when he called out to his uncle from the platform.
"Aiden said someone had left their wallet up there. But when he showed it to me, it was a checkbook," said Dan. "There were checks inside and an open envelope. Inside the envelope were some documents and all this money. It was all one-hundred dollar bills. I said to him, 'Aiden, you're going to learn an important lesson today.'"
When Dan counted out the bills, the cash totaled exactly $8,000. He had no idea how the checkbook came to be on the platform at the top of the slide but he knew what he and Aiden had to do.
"I talked to him about how bad the folks who lost the money must feel," said Dan. "I told him about how his Aunt Stephanie lost her wallet and later she found it in a snowbank but all the money was gone."
Dan told Aiden they were headed to the Police Station to turn in the checkbook and cash.
"He was so excited about going to the Police Station. When we got there, he ran into the lobby and the first random officer he started telling his story to."
The officer was impressed and told Aiden he needed to give the information to Lt. Desmond, the officer on duty behind the desk, which he did, with great enthusiasm and in great detail. 
After leaving the money with the lieutenant, the pair left and headed back to Aiden's grandmother's home.
About 15 minutes after arriving, Dan got a call from Lt. Desmond that the owner of the cash had been contacted, had come to the station to retrieve the cash but wanted to meet Aiden first.
The money belonged to Elias Santos, an independent contractor who had just been paid and had been at the playground with his own two children. He didn't realize the money was even missing until contacted by the police.
“I am so grateful because we don’t have people like this no more,” Santos told CBS Ch. 4 reporter Paul Burton.
Santos showed his gratitude to Aiden by giving him one of those crisp $100 bills.
So what will Aiden be doing with his sudden windfall? Investing, of course.
"Each year for Christmas and Easter, I given Aiden one silver coin. He has about 12 or 15 now." said Dan. "He said he wants to use the money to buy more of those."
Dan, who is also Aiden's Godfather, said he is extremely proud of his nephew for immediately wanting to do the right thing with the money.
"The big thing I've tried to instill in Aiden is the Golden Rule, to treat others the way you would want them to treat you," he said. "That's exactly what he did. He's the sweetest kid you're ever going to meet.
Ellen Wright told CBS Ch. 4, the family's faith has helped to shape her son's values.
“We go to Sunday School and he’s been taught to do the right thing. This shows the lessons had been learned and we are so proud," she said.
With that type of integrity and character, Aiden is sure to have, "A Wonderful Life."

CBS Ch. 5 Story on Aiden Wright

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