Nacogdoches man doesn't let Down syndrome keep him from helping others

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches man born with a common genetic disorder has been volunteering for the Women's Shelter Thrift Store for the past five years. Patrick Tyson found $2,900 last week and was rewarded for his honesty. He has down syndrome but doesn't let that stop him from helping others in the community.

Tyson spends 40 hours a week at the thrift store in Nacogdoches volunteering.

"I help people," Tyson said.

For the past five years, helping people has been his passion.

"He likes to help people. He never meets a stranger," Linda Fussell, his mother, said. "Everywhere we go he meets somebody that he'll know next time when he gets there, or we'll be somewhere and he'll know people there."

Living with down syndrome hasn't stopped him from living a normal life.

"Ever since he's been little they told me to just treat him like my other children," Fussell said.

That's exactly what Linda Fussell has done for the past 40 years; treated him no different from anyone else.

"I am 42 today," Tyson said.

As Patrick celebrates his birthday a Center woman is helping him celebrate his honesty.

"I got $400 today," Tyson said.

Last week, the volunteer was sorting through donated shoes and found $2,900 in a pair of slippers. They belonged to Polly McKissick's late husband Joel.

"I'm just so thankful to the people at the women's shelter store and particularly to Patrick for finding it, for being so honest, and for turning it in," McKissick said.

"Makes me proud that he did that," Fussell said. "He came home and told me I was doing shoes and going through shoes. He said and I found this hundred dollars."

Although he had no idea how much money was really stashed inside of the shoe he knew turning it in was the right thing to do.

He's the kind of honest and loyal worker many can appreciate.

"Even a person having gripping about their day is a little happier after talking to Patrick," said Women's Shelter Thrift Store Operations Manager Lisa Jackkman.

The Nacogdoches man said he has no plans just yet on how to spend his $400, but he is happy he's been blessed for being honest.

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.