Ella Johannesen, a 23-year-old university student, was in for an unexpected surprise when she dozed off during her train journey from Peterborough to Leeds.
After a phone call with her mother discussing her financial worries, Ella fell asleep. When she woke up, she found 100 British pounds, roughly equivalent to $122 tucked under a paper napkin in her lap.
Ella had been talking to her mother about her financial concerns, especially after having to quit her part-time job to focus on her studies.
"I talked to her about the little money I had left, and that made me even more worried," Ella told the BBC.
After the phone call, Ella was able to relax and fell asleep. When she opened her eyes, she saw the 100 British pounds lying in her lap. "It was a very special sight that awaited me," she said.
"I want to say thank you"
The generous gesture moved Ella to tears.
"I want to thank the person and tell them they are an amazing human being. It really lifted my spirits and helped me move forward," Ella said.
She has since sought the kind donor in an emotional Facebook post that has been shared over 18,000 times and liked by more than 22,000 people.