This story from the Herald archives originally appeared in June 2016.

When Samson Faulafo and his friends pointed out to a family they'd dropped a $10 note at Denny's, they didn't expect anything in return.

But the grateful family took them by surprise and paid the trio's $52 bill, giving them the docket with the note: "Thank you for your honesty. God bless."

"It was humbling," Mr Faulafo told the Herald.

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"We were buzzing all night.

"We were sitting across from the family when we saw the $10 note under the chair of the girl, who looked about seven.

"We all waved to the father to get his attention, and the lady thanked us and they carried on eating."

The friends, who were catching up for the first time in six months at Denny's in Manukau on Friday night, carried on eating too, thinking that was the end of it.

"I think they waited for us to finish because then the mother walked to counter, came back, and then the little girl walked over to us with a piece of paper in her hands.

"She looked quite nervous but I think she was just shy.

"We were all in shock. It was just $10; we weren't expecting anything from it."

Mr Faulafo and his friends immediately offered to pay the family back but they refused.

"The father had a massive smile on his face and shook our hands and said thank you.

"We were lost for words. We all believe in karma and do what we can to help people.

"It showed something so small like honesty goes a long way."

Mr Faulafo's friend shared the tale of what happened on Facebook on Saturday. It has garnered 5400 likes and 140 shares.

It might be the new season for giving: the Herald on Sunday ran a story today about an Auckland University student whose lost wallet was returned with a $10 note.