ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It's just $1, but it's worth so much more to an Orchard Park family. They hope you can help them find the dollar bill that means a lot to an 8-year-old boy.
The dollar was given to Austin Podlas by his late grandmother after a tragedy to help teach him a lifelong lesson.
Austin has fond memories of his grandmother.
"She would always sit on her rocking chair and just rock there, watching us play. And when I would look at her, she was always smiling," Austin Podlas said.
Austin's grandmother passed away in 2020, but seven years ago, after the family lost everything in a house fire, she gave him a special dollar bill to remind him that things can be replaced, but people can't.
"It has two hearts on it. One for her, and one for my grandpa, and I never really knew who my grandpa was, so that's why she put the other heart on there, and that's why I love it so much," Podlas said.
The keepsake is usually in Austin's piggy bank. But Wednesday morning, Austin's mom had it in her wallet after showing it to a friend. By accident, she used it to pay at the Speedway in Orchard Park.
"I did not realize that it was spent until I was going to put it back, like an hour later," Kristen Podlas said.
Kristen immediately called the gas station.
"And the cashier remembered that she gave it as change, so it was gone, so I instantly posted on Facebook to see if anybody had it before they traveled any farther, and I haven't gotten any response yet. I know it means a lot to my son," Kristen Podlas said.
Austin is hoping someone out there can help reunite him with his special dollar bill.
"I would be so happy, and I would really thank the person that found it and gave it to me, and if they did find it, that would be amazing," Austin Podlas said.
If you have this dollar bill, Kristen says she will gladly give you a different one in exchange. It means that much to the family. You can contact 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have it, and she will connect you with Kristen.