Local good samaritan saves diamond ring

A South Bend restaurant owner shows others good samritans still exist. Helene Elia, owner of Elia's Mediterranean Restaurant on South Bend Avenue held on to a diamond ring for over two weeks, after a woman left it on a table.

"I have stuff, it's been here for almost 3 years," says Elia. She says she keeps the items "because something doesn't belong to you it shouldn't stay in your place. It should go back to the person it belongs to. And like I said, even if it's not worth anything, it's still worth something to them."

Andrea Mather-Stow left her diamond engagement ring on a table, after dining with her husband.
"It's almost maybe a guardian angel had given me the tip to once again retrace your steps, and return every stone," said Mather-Stone.

At first, Mather-Stow said she thought the ring would turn up in her home, since she didn't remember taking it off at the restaurant. But after two weeks of searching, she says she was overwhelmed to realize Elia's still had it.

"With a ring it's not about the monetary value of the ring its about the sentimental value behind it and the intent behind it, that has so much more weight," says Mather-Stow. "I'm just so very grateful to them. I can't really thank them enough for what they've done for me, and for my relationship with my husband."

And both women agree, there's a lesson to be learned.

"A good samaritan act carries much more weight in terms of personal relation, life relations, spiritual relations, on so many different levels. It touches so many different levels in a profound way than a monetary act of taking something and turning it into cash," says Mather-Stow.

And two people who never knew each other, suddenly have a connection unlike any other.

"I felt teary at the end of the phone call when it first turned up. But when I came in, it was just exhilaration. I had to hug everybody here," says Mather-Stow. "Clearly they're family now. We're connected for life."

"I feel like I gave my sister something she lost, that's how it feels. I don't know her. I met her the day when she came in and claimed the ring," says Elia. But says, "the second i saw her i was so happy."

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