91 year old Floyd Barber had saved up $7-thousand to “get his teeth fixed” and was on his way to deposit the cash earlier this month when he stopped to get some gas at a Marana, Arizona, gas station. While gassing up his car, the Korean War vet and lifelong Tucson resident was approached by a woman who took the envelope of cash from his back pocket. “I turned around and this woman came out of nowhere and started hugging me and I said who the hell is this I told her I don't know you. And that’s when she got my money.”
Police responded to the incident, but with no other eyewitnesses and no surveillance footage from the gas station, there wasn’t much they could do. Barber was sorry he didn’t go to the bank before getting gas, but after the theft, he felt he had “no choice but to try and just move past it.” So he went to his favorite restaurant where he’s been eating weekly for about 10 years. His friend and waitress Sheri Tacchia asked him how he was doing and he shared the story with her.
Tacchia, the mother of two veterans and daughter of a veteran, was heartbroken and asked Barber if he would allow her to help him. With his permission, she contacted local news to get his story out to the community and she started a crowdfund to replace the stolen money. In no time, the fund had exceeded the $10-thousand goal and helped restore Barber’s faith in humanity. The grateful veteran says, “It makes me feel real good to know that there's more good people out there than bad people."
A local dentist who saw the new story has offered to help with Barber’s tooth repairs so he can use the money for other expenses.