Gerrell McAllister is a working dad, while Melissa Trusler is a sales executive. (Gerrell McAllister/Melissa Trusler Facebook)

A 28-year-old self-described low-income father’s generous deed is now being rewarded by other generous social media users after he sent back $1,200 mistakenly given to him.

Gerrell McAllister, a resident of Tacoma raising his 5-year-old daughter, was surprised when he saw a PayPal notice for the hefty amount of cash.

“It said, ‘You’ve got money!’” he told BuzzFeed. “So I’m thinking, ‘You’ve got jokes!’”




The funds were sent by 30-year-old Melissa Trusler’s father as a birthday present to help her with the sofa she recently purchased. McAllister noted returning the funds was painful, but he knew it was the right thing to do, despite falling on hard times since the death of his mother last year.

“To me, it was kind of a no-brainer,” McAllister told The Independent. “I knew it wasn’t mine. Nobody would send that amount without knowing me.”




Tusler shared the story on her Facebook page, noting the mix-up occurred because her father had an old number. She thanked McAllister for reversing the payment and posted a message he wanted her to pass along on Thursday, May 25.

“If you could tell your family and friends that a low-income 28-year-old Black man from Tacoma with a 5-year-old daughter returned your money,” he wrote, “I would find that helpful in improving race relations while reaffirming the dope ass culture we as Western Washingtonians have worked so hard to cultivate.”

McAllister further explained to BuzzFeed that the city, which has two-thirds the $75,300 median household income of the Seattle metro area, “has a reputation of being lower-class and untrustworthy.”




Sharing a story from this morning….

My father sent me $$ via PayPal as a bday present to help with a couch I just…

Posted by Melissa Trusler on Thursday, May 25, 2017




Since then, McAllister has been inundated with donations to his PayPal account.

“I do receive an email every time someone makes a donation and I check the message,” he said to The Independent. “I just care about the message because people are sending some great, uplifting stuff and I’m glad to be an inspiration because they’re inspiring me in return.”