Of course, thrift shops are full of old clothes, VHS tapes, and plenty of other odd, interesting relics. However, you rarely find massive amounts of cash in one. So when a Goodwill employee found $42,000 in a coat pocket, she immediately started working to return it!
The Goodwill Employee’s Find
While Oklahoma Goodwill employee Andrea Lessing has found a few forgotten cents in coat pockets before, she had never seen anything like this. It all started as she turned out the pockets of an oversized sweatshirt before putting it out for sale. “Just from working here a month and a half, I’ve realized that there are a lot of things that have been donated,” Lessing said. “You want to make sure there’s good product, there’s no stains, there’s no holes, there’s no tears, there’s no rips.” However, instead of coins or holes, she found $42,000. That’s right. Even more impressive? Lessing immediately started working on finding the owner.
“Normally we have no way of knowing who the money belongs to,” Frank Holland, vice president of Goodwill stores, said. “Even if we wanted to try to give it back to someone, there was no way to find who that person was.” Thankfully, that wasn’t a problem for this store, and the envelopes came back to where they belong.
Returning The Money
Of course, Lessing said she thought about pocketing the cash. As a single mother, she needs the money desperately. However, she knew that it was not the right thing to do. “I have a daughter, I love her very much and you can’t put a price on my daughter,” the Goodwill employee said. “I know what could be risked stealing that money and I do believe in karma. I do believe that if you do something good, something good will come back to you.” And guess what? She was right!
Thanks to some paperwork in the sweater, Lessing and Goodwill eventually found the man who lost the money. Afterward, when the owner came to pick up the money, he told Lessing that she’s proof that there are good people in the world. And he gave her a gift: $1,000 of the cash she found. And the two even snapped a picture together for the Goodwill website. The fantastic mother she is, Lessing says she will spend the money ensuring her daughter has the best birthday ever. After all, what’s better than unforgettable memories? “Her birthday is coming up in July so I can actually give her an amazing birthday party,” Lessing commented.
Of course, this is far from the first time that people have discovered incredible items in Goodwill or other thrift shops. From more cash and old toys to vinyl records and much more, you never know what you’ll find in a second-hand shop. Also, it teaches us all something important: always check the pockets before donating a jacket!