From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge

Tempe, Ariz.

Dave Tally could hardly believe his eyes. While waiting to board a commuter train in Tempe, Ariz., last November, he spotted an unattended backpack containing $3,300 in cash. After six years of being homeless, Tally's mind raced, thinking of ways he could spend the money-an apartment? A bike? "Yet taking it," recalls Tally, "wasn't the right thing to do."

With help from the staff at his homeless shelter, Tally tracked down the owner: Bryan Belanger, 22, a senior at Arizona State University, who had left the pack behind in his rush to get to work. "I'd given up hope," says Belanger, who was planning to buy a used car with the money. "I was floored when I found out it was a homeless guy."

Since then, Tally's kindness has been repaid tenfold. As news of his good deed spread, the recovering alcoholic and former landscaper received nearly $10,000 in donations from strangers-as well as a small reward from Belanger-and a new set of teeth, thanks to a local oral surgeon. Says Tally, who now has his own apartment and a full-time gardening job: "I can't believe all this was made possible just by doing the right thing."