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A Holiday Story with a Happy Ending

Yohann Samarasinghe

On Friday, December 16, Lester Ocampo, a Facilities Management groundskeeper, visited an ATM on campus, filling his wallet with twenties. He planned to leave that night to visit family in Nicaragua. While at work that Friday, Lester lost his wallet. Along with the cash, he lost the credit cards needed to pay for travel and family Christmas gifts.

Yes, Lester, there is a Santa Claus. Lester's Santa is named Yohann Samarasinghe.

That same day, shuttle driver trainees were learning proper fire extinguisher use near the Campus Services Complex recycling area. Trainee Yohann found a wallet in the dirt. Looking inside for identification, Yohann discovered the cash and credit cards. He took the wallet to his training administrator, Chuck Quisenberry. Chuck found Lester’s employee ID. He then called Facilities Management to find out how to contact Lester.

“Yohann’s honesty and Lester’s profound joy when I called to tell him that we found his wallet intact really made my day,” Chuck said. “Later, when I gave Lester his wallet, I truly felt the spirit of the season. I can’t remember when I’ve seen someone so happy!”

Yohann’s selfless actions saved Lester’s family holiday in Nicaragua. Yohann's honesty puts into practice the values built into UC San Diego’s Principles of Community.

Fleet and Shuttle Services Assistant Director Jim Ruby commended Yohann’s efforts. “The TV news constantly reminds us about the bad things happening around the world and rarely focuses on the good things. Thank you, Yohann, for restoring my faith in human nature.”