Stacy Mahonen, owner of Androscoggin Pet Sitting and Real Clean, LLC, with Macho. Last week Mahonen found a $450 gift card in a snowy parking lot and reunited it with its rightful owner within 12 hours. Submitted photo

POLAND — Imagine losing a $450 gift card in a slushy, snowy grocery store parking lot, well after you have driven away and maybe made several more stops. Would you expect to get it back?

And then imagine finding a $450 gift card at your feet when you exit your vehicle to go grocery shopping.

It sounds more like a scene from the long-ago series Candid Camera or a challenge presented on the news-magazine TV show What Would You Do?, which ran on ABC for several years and ironically returns to the airwaves this month.

But last Wednesday this scenario played out locally, at the Hannaford store in Mechanic Falls. That is where Poland resident Stacy Mahonen noticed a gift card in the parking lot, along with sales and activation receipts.

“I picked it up, thinking that someone must have dropped it. I hoped it wasn’t for a lot of money,” Mahonen told the Advertiser Democrat during a phone interview Monday morning.

“When I looked at the receipt, it was a lot. I brought it inside to customer service and asked if there was a way they could track the person down. They said, ‘we’ll do the best we can.’


“I wanted to get the word out about it somehow. So I posted it on the [Facebook] community pages for both Poland and Mechanic Falls.”

Response was immediate from people commending Mahonen for her kindness but also helping to spread her message.

With some viral assistance on Facebook, last week Stacy Mahonen of Poland tracked down the owner of a lost $450 gift card. Screen capture

While she says she does not know most of those who commented on her post, Mahonen’s community certainly now knows who she is.

One commenter said Mahonen has restored their faith in humanity. Others thanked her for doing the right thing and called her out for her kindness and honesty.

Hundreds of shares – the Poland, Maine Community Page racked up close to 300 alone – and barely 12 hours later, the gift card was back in the hands of the person who lost it.

The purchaser retrieved her lost property from Hannaford Thursday morning and added her own comment to Mahonen’s Facebook post:


“Shout out to this amazing human who found my gift card that fell out of my purse last night. Proof that kind, caring people with ginormous hearts do exist and are looking out for the greater good. Thank you sooo much Stacy Mahonen and to the other wonderful peeps in this community” (who helped her track it down).

For Mahonen, a single mother and entrepreneur running a commercial and residential cleaning company as well as a pet-sitting service, pocketing a $450 windfall did not even occur to her.

“No way,” she said in answer to that question. “No way. It wasn’t mine, and obviously someone wasn’t trying to lose it.

“Something that big? I didn’t skip a beat, it had to make its way back to where it belonged. That was my hope.”

After hearing her story, a few people told her she should have just kept the $450. After all, her turning it in was no guarantee the next person would not take an untraceable gift card for themselves.

“But I’ve just said to them, ‘you know what? I’ve done my good deed. If they don’t do theirs, that’s on them. Not me.’”

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