When we reach the age of 30, a lot of us spend the day with friends and family. Brady Summers had been planning for months to throw a huge "Dirty 30" party for his 30th birthday. But he had an empty feeling as the day of the party approached.
About a week from his birthday, Brady decided that instead of a dirty 30 party, he wanted to clean up something dirty for his 30th. Driving U.S. Highway 20 to work every day in Idaho Falls, he saw how much garbage was on the side of the road and decided that was going to be his something dirty to clean.
The next day, he walked into the local Idaho Transportation Department office to sign up for the Adopt-A-Highway litter cleanup program. On his birthday, April 10, Brady got up and went out to pick up garbage on the highway shoulders. A few hours into his clean up, he picked up an old wallet with everything still in it. An ID in the wallet identified who it belonged to.
Brady finished cleaning up his area, went home to do some research and found the owner on social media. One of his friends knew the woman, so he reached out to them to see if they could contact the owner of the wallet and return it to her.
After some back-and-forth communication, through mutual friends/family, Brady and the woman who owned the wallet were finally able to meet in person. Meeting in a parking lot in Idaho Falls, Brady returned the wallet (with everything still in it) to the woman. Brady asked her how long this wallet had been missing and how it ended up on the side of the highway.
The woman told him that more than nine years ago she was driving to see family to drop off Christmas presents. She had pulled over to the side of the road because her car's trunk light was on. After pulling over, she got out to close her trunk and apparently dropped the wallet.
After finding it all of these years later, Brady was kind enough to return the wallet to her without asking for anything in return. Because of his honesty and kindness, they both now keep in constant communication and have become good friends.
“If I ever lost my wallet and someone found it, I would want them to return it to me,” said Summers. “She was so excited to get the wallet back and it was such a great feeling to give it to her."
A great enough experience, in fact, that Brady plans to do it each year at this time.
“I’ll be volunteering for the Adopt-A-Highway program every year from now on, it was such a wonderful and fulfilling experience. I strongly suggest everyone do it.”
You can learn more about the Adopt-A-Highway program here at, https://apps.itd.idaho.gov/apps/volunteer/adopt_hwy_packet.pdf.