Goodwill Employee Finds $42,000 in Donated Clothing and Returns to Owner

Goodwill Employee Finds $42,000 in Donated Clothing and Returns to Owner

April 20, 2021 by Cathy Stack

Oklahoma - Goodwill employee, Andrea Lessing is used to discovering unique treasures in the varied collection of donated items her store receives daily. However, she was shocked to find mounds of cash stashed away in between a pair of sweaters. The cash was in $100 bills and totaled $42,000. The question of what to do with the money came easy for the honest employee. Without hesitation, she handed the cash over to the store’s manager so they could notify the rightful owner.

Some might have thought that it was Andrea’s lucky day, stumbling across a small fortune.  However, Andrea’s honest nature propelled her to do the right thing.  When asked about her motivation in returning the cash, she credited her belief in good karma. "I do believe that if you do something good, something good will come back to you," said Andrea after returning the money

The discovery came during a regular day on the job as Andrea was performing her routine quality inspection on clothing items being put out on the sales floor.  As she pulled out two sweaters tied together from a donation box, she felt something heavy wedged in between them.  She first assumed the items were just books. When she pulled the sweaters apart, to her astonishment, she found stacks of envelopes filled with $100 bills.

Fortunately for the cash owner, there was identifiable paperwork along with the donated items. The store’s manager was then able to locate and return the money to the donor who had mistakenly placed the cash in the wrong box.  "Normally we have no way of knowing who the money belongs to,” said Frank Holland, vice president of the chain." Luckily this time they did.

Andrea, mother of a 6-year-old girl, admitted it was hard not to think of the many wonderful things she could do with that much money.  However, the temptation to keep the cash was just a passing thought.  She always strives to be a good example to her daughter, so she immediately did the right thing and reported the cash find.

Andrea was not expecting a reward, but the anonymous owner of the money surprised her with a $1,000 reward.  Andrea was teary eyed and overcome with joy as her “good deed” karma flowed right back to her.  She plans to spend part of the reward money on a memorable birthday party for her daughter.

PassItOn and The Foundation For A Better Life believes Andrea Lessing is a hero for doing the right thing even when no one was watching.  Her honest action is a great example of the value of integrity.  Help us honor this hero by sharing her inspiring story. 

Watch video here:

Please tell us about your everyday Hero. The Heroes among us are ordinary people whose actions leave a lasting and positive impact in their communities and demonstrate the potential in all of us. Their heroic acts uphold our shared values. Help honor these individuals by creating a billboard and sharing their story at:

Sign Up to our PassItOn blog to be inspired:

image credit - Facebook

SHARE this inspiring story with your friends and family to uplift their day. If you find these posts inspirational, consider favoriting PassItOn on Facebook so you never miss out on our weekly posts.

Pass It On®


Your Comments
Lynise Tarring from Hilo, Hawai'i  JUNE 3, 2022
Thank you, Andrea for your sincerity in caring and with lots of hope. God Bless and Make Gratitude YOUR Attitude.

Kathie from NY JUNE 3, 2022
You're a wonderful example and role model for everyone who sees this video God bless you!

Marjorie Estrada from Puerto Rico APRIL 21, 2021
What a beautiful soul. I love her honesty. I wish her a beautiful promotion in administration.

Lynise Tarring from Hilo, Hawai'i  APRIL 20, 2021
Andrea, you gave me a ray of sunshine with all your heart. Thank you for being who YOU are and God Bless you with tons of rainbows. Enjoy! And, make gratitude YOUR attitude. Aloha!

Anonymous APRIL 20, 2021
Karma is so right! Wonderful person...we could all learn from her! Also love the Goodwill - a great organization for many years!

Here are some other inspiring posts you might like.