Stranger on Train Waits Until Her Son Is Asleep—Then Mom Hears “I Think You Dropped This”

Like any mama of boys, Samantha Welch has her hands full.


The single mom from the UK was traveling on a train with her 3-year-old son, Rylan, when a stranger joined them in their train car.

He was an older man, wearing a hat and glasses. He sat down beside Samantha, who was putting every ounce of energy into keeping Rylan entertained and civil. The mother-son-duo spent time playing games and having sweet conversations with each other. She even taught him a brief lesson in manners, and respecting those around them on the train.


After a while, Rylan fell asleep on Samantha’s lap, and she held him close. She didn’t think anything of the man sitting next to them, but it turns out he had been watching them closely.

When the train reached his stop, the man stood up to get off—but not before leaving a surprise for the sweet mama beside him.

He tapped Samantha on the shoulder and said, “I think you’ve dropped this out of your bag.” Then he handed her a small folded piece of paper, and made his way off the train.

When she looked at the paper, Samantha realized she hadn’t dropped anything, but rather the man had written a note especially for her.


It was wrapped around a £5 bill and read:

“Have a drink on me, you’re a credit to your generation, polite and teaching the little boy good manners.

P.S. I have a daughter your age, someone did the same for her once. Hope when she has children she is as good a mother as you.”

The young mom was in complete shock, and she became overwhelmed with emotions right there in her seat. There wasn’t enough time between when the man handed Samantha the note, and when she realized what he’d done, for her to be able to thank him.

She was determined to personally thank the mystery man for his kind gesture, and tell him how much his note meant to her. So she took to Facebook in an effort to find him.

Once local media caught wind of their story, Samantha and Rylan even appeared on local talk shows in an attempt to get in touch with the kindhearted man.

Their tenacity paid off, and about a week after their first encounter on the train, Samantha and Rylan were reunited with Ken Saunders.


The 50-year-old was shocked by the community’s overwhelming response to his spontaneous note. Ken says after a long day at work, Rylan’s playful energy was a joy to watch. The little boy’s personality was so full of life, and it reminded Ken of his own daughter when she was Rylan’s age.

He said it was Samantha’s relationship with her son, and the conversation they had about correcting his manners that really struck a chord saying, “It made such a change compared to the maligned young people of today.”

Ken enjoyed watching the young mother teach her son, and he was in awe with the respect that Rylan gave back to her.

As for the note and bit of cash, Ken says he just wanted to put a smile on the young mom’s face.

“I thought, ‘She’s lightened up my night, I’m going to lighten up her night.’”


Samantha AND Rylan finally got to tell Ken “Thank You.” Check out their heartwarming reunion below:

Bri Lamm
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Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.