Acts of Kindness

Goodwill employee finds $42,000 in donated sweaters and helps return money to owner

April 6th, 2021

What would you do if you discovered tens of thousands of dollars at your place of work?

What would your initial response be?

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Pixabay/Maklay62 Source: Pixabay/Maklay62

It is known that Benjamin Franklin was the first to say that:

“Honesty is the best policy.”

When we are young, most of us are taught the importance of telling the truth; however as we get older, when we are under pressure at work or home when the real competitive world kicks in with all its deceptions and temptations, honesty can become a distant memory and difficult to find. But, in today’s modern culture, what does this mean to us?

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Pexels/Thirdman Source: Pexels/Thirdman

A Goodwill employee in Oklahoma, United States recently showed that honesty is still the best policy.

Andrea Lessing believed she was carrying books wrapped in two old sweaters while going through donations at the Goodwill store in Norman. However, upon closer inspection, she found a large bundle of cash tucked inside.

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YouTube/FOX59News Source: YouTube/FOX59News

Stacks of envelopes containing $100 bills were kept inside. Andrea initially mistook them as fakes.

Believe it or not — all of the crisp bills, totaling $42,000 were genuine.

Employees are used to finding money hidden away in donated goods, but this is the first time they’ve seen it in this volume.

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Facebook/Goodwill of Industries of Central Oklahoma Source: Facebook/Goodwill of Industries of Central Oklahoma

She was so lucky!

“Just from working here a month and a half, I’ve realized that there are a lot of things that have been donated,” Andrea said.

She added that in their work,

“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.”

With the pandemic still raging, many families are still in financial distress.

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Facebook/Goodwill of Industries of Central Oklahoma Source: Facebook/Goodwill of Industries of Central Oklahoma

Andrea, though, a true believer in “karma,” said she never considered keeping the money for herself.

As a response, the good employee told the management about the lost money. Fortunately, thanks to some documents provided with the donation, Goodwill was able to locate the owner.

“Normally we have no way of knowing who the money belongs to,” Frank Holland, Vice President of Donated Goods at Goodwill, said. “Even if we wanted to try to give it back to someone, there was no way to find who that person was.”

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Facebook/Goodwill of Industries of Central Oklahoma Source: Facebook/Goodwill of Industries of Central Oklahoma

As for Andrea, she’s just pleased to have saved her values wholeheartedly.

For many people, coming face to face with anything like this will be a tough “test” of righteousness, and she definitely “passed” this one with flying colors.

When she got the good news, she burst into tears!

Andrea got a decent deal from the karma. The owner who wished to remain anonymous asked Goodwill to grant her a $1,000 donation for the integrity she showed that day.

“I just want to say thank you because he was a blessing,” Andrea said. “I thought I blessed him, but he turned right around and blessed me. He restored my faith that there are really good people out there even through this pandemic. We don’t know their situation so it’s better to just be kind.”

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YouTube/FOX59News Source: YouTube/FOX59News

Andrea also desired to set a good example for her young daughter, who is six years old.

“I want her to know that kindness, integrity, and honesty can get you a lot of places in life,” she said.

Many people admired her for what she did. One of the comments said:
“Your heart of gold and sterling soul are worth so much more! You did the right thing, and that’s priceless. You are a WONDERFUL example to your daughter. and that is something that can’t be bought! Many blessings to a great woman!”
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Facebook/Goodwill of Industries of Central Oklahoma Source: Facebook/Goodwill of Industries of Central Oklahoma

Andrea was recognized by Goodwill for exemplifying the principles that they hope to instill in the communities they represent.

Jim Priest, JD, the CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma, said:

“The actions of Andrea and our Goodwill organization are real life examples of one of our core values: integrity.”

Andrea’s daughter’s birthday is in July, and she wants to use some of the money she got to have an awesome birthday party.

Check the moral story of Andrea in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family!


Sources: Facebook/Goodwill of Industries of Central Oklahoma, YouTube/FOX59News, TrishaProud

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