band trip
do the right thing
October 21, 2013

Teen Returns Funds


Shelby: This next story is about a young teen in Moore, Oklahoma who stepped up to right the wrongs of a robber. Demetrius is here with the details.

Demetrius: That is right, Shelby. Fifteen-year-old Christian Lunsford’s act of kindness has touched the hearts of many across the country.

It had only been two weeks since 78-year-old Tona Herndon of Bethany, Oklahoma had laid her husband of sixty years to rest. Her teary eyes still blinded by pain, she never saw it coming.

Tona Herndon: You know, I really didn’t even know anything was going wrong until I was halfway in the car.

TV report: An elderly woman visits her husband’s grave only to be mugged.

Demetrius: The mugger made off with her purse and $700, but he was soon caught. And his mugshot was posted all over the news. It was a face that 15-year-old Christian Lunsford recognized right away. It was his father.

Christian’s parents divorced when he was two, and his dad has been mostly absent ever since. Last time he had heard from him had been a few weeks ago when his dad gave him $250 for a band trip that Christian really wanted to go on. But that had been the extent of their relationship recently. Over the years, Christian says his dad had been in and out of jail more than a half a dozen times.

Christian: There’s times that you just feel really low, like, is that going to be me? Am I going to end up like that?

Demetrius: Which is why after Christian heard about his dad’s latest crime, he reached out to the victim and asked to meet her in this church parking lot.

Tona: You think, what’s going on here?

Demetrius: He said he just had to tell her…

Christian: Sorry about what happened. It needed to be done. She needed an apology from somebody. If I didn’t apologize, who would?

Tona: I thought that was so, so precious.

Demetrius: And that was just the beginning.

Christian: He gave me $250 dollars for my band trip, but I’m not sure if it was yours or however he got it, but I’d feel bad if I didn’t give it to you.

Demetrius: It wasn’t his crime but he paid the debt.

Tona: I accepted the money back. And it was mine to do with what I wanted.

Demetrius: Which brings us to the best part of the story.

Tona: I want you to take your band trip.

Demetrius: She gave it all back to him for his band trip.

Tona: It was a joy to do that.

Christian: Thank you.

Demetrius: In the end, no money changed hands in that church parking lot, but what they got from each was much more valuable.

Tona: I feel more like my life still has a purpose.

Christian: You’re not who your parents are. I mean, even if they do raise you, you can become whoever you want to be.

Demetrius: After seeing how Christian handled the situation, his father reached out to the victim in a letter to apologize as well.

Shelby: Hey, sometimes doing the right thing can make a major impact. If you want to make a difference in your community, check out our Impact page over at


6 comments on “Teen Returns Funds

  1. Lincoln Elementary East Side WY

    I think Christian did the right thing and give the money back an say sorry for what his dad had done to that lade.

  2. Sergei

    Great act! The guy is right – if you choose to be on the path in your life, there is no stopping you. I admire him.


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