Life
Goodwill worker discovers $42K in cash while sorting through donated items
When Andrea first came across the money she didn't think it was real. But it was, and she needed to do something about it.
Patricia Lynn
05.04.22

If you were to come across a huge stack of cash, do you think you’d turn it in? Most of us would say “absolutely,” but not everyone would actually do so.

One Goodwill employee found herself in a similar situation, and she was forced to make a decision about an enormous amount of money.

It all started when the relatively new employee was sorting through some donated sweaters.

Flickr - Mike Mozart
Source:
Flickr - Mike Mozart

Andrea Lessing had been working the job for about a month and a half and was already not surprised by some of the stuff she found.

People donate all kinds of things to Goodwill, and sometimes don’t always remember to empty out their pockets or purses before handing them over.

Turns out, they can sometimes accidentally “donate” their cash too.

YouTube - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
Source:
YouTube - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

While going through a couple of sweaters, Andrea felt something extra heavy.

At first, she thought that it was a stack of books, but then realized it was something way more valuable.

YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

Wrapped inside the sweaters, she found stacks of envelopes filled with $100 bills.

All counted up, the money was worth $42,000. And no, the money wasn’t fake either. It was completely real!

YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

Andrea, who’s also a mom, decided to do the right thing and report what she found.

Thanks to identifying documents also left with the sweaters, the employees were able to trace the money back to its owner.

YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

Normally, most people donate to Goodwill anonymously. Or they at least try to keep their personal identifying information away from the clothing they donate. But in this instance, along with the forgotten money, the person who donated the sweater also forgot some documents that included their name.

For Andrea, returning the money was a no-brainer.

YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

She believes in karma, and wants to try her best to put out positive energy. She also says that she was motivated by doing right for her daughter and being the best mom she can be. Andrea explained to KFOR:

“I have a daughter. I love her very much, and you can’t put a price on my daughter, and I know what could be risked, stealing that money. And, I do believe in karma, I do believe that if you do something good will come back to you.”

But she was still rewarded for doing the right thing.

YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

After returning the money, the owner gave Andrea $1,000 for her kindness and for tracking them down. They were really thankful for her kindness, and it seems pretty clear that Andrea did get her karma!

As she was given that reward money, her boss, the V.P. of Donated Goods said to her:

“Thank you for what you’re doing and you’re integrity and you’re really living our values. Thank you.”

YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

Andrea told KFOR that she would use the money to help give her daughter an amazing birthday party.

Let this be a lesson to all of us.

YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - KFOR Oklahoma's News 4

No matter if you are donating something or if you happen to be the person to find something, we all could learn something from this story. And don’t forget, if you are going to donate any items, please make sure that you get rid of any identifying details, and definitely make sure that you don’t accidentally get rid of your money!

Watch the video below to learn more about this unforgettable story. Bravo, Andrea!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Patricia Lynn
hi@sbly.com
Patricia Lynn is a senior writer at Shareably. Patricia is based out of San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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