NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman lost a whole lot of money on the subway, but amazingly got it back thanks to a good Samaritan man who found it.

On Thursday, the two met for the first time.

Aiya Tulemaganbetova, of Kazakhstan, gave a big hug to Richard Taverna, of the Upper West Side, at the NYPD’s 20th Precinct. Taverna found Tulemaganbetova’s purse on the 1 train platform near Lincoln Center last month with about $10,000 in cash inside.

The woman says she was carrying the large amount of money to buy Christmas gifts for her kids back home.

“Richard is an extremely honest person, and what he’s done changed (my) perception of how people live in the United States,” Tulemaganbetova said through a translator.

Aside from being thankful, the woman donated $1,000 to a children’s charity in Taverna’s name and gave him a gold statue which symbolizes strength and honor in Kazakhstan.