Goodwill Associate’s Honesty Pays Off In $42,000 Find

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What would you do if you found $42,000? 

If your first inclination is “take the money and run,” it’s understandable. That’s a lot of unexpected “extra income.” 

Andrea Lessing was tempted ever so briefly when she found stacks of $100 bills stuffed inside two old sweaters at Goodwill Industries in Norman, Oklahoma, where she works as a sales associate. 

As she tried to figure out whether the money was real or fake, she thought of her six-year-old daughter. 

“Her birthday is coming up in July, so I can actually give her an amazing birthday party,” she told KFOR, a local news station in Norman. 

But her better instincts kicked in, and she realized that keeping the money would not be good karma. So, she did the right thing. 

She reported the cash as lost, and the management team at the Goodwill store was able to find the owner because there was identifiable documentation inside the two sweaters. 

“I made the right decision,” Lessing said. 

At first blush, when Lessing started sorting through donations, she thought the two sweaters wrapped together were holding books. 

“There was just stacks of just envelopes and it just contained $100 bills,” Lessing told KFOR. “My first thought was – it’s fake.” 

They weren’t. The stack of $100 bills totaled $42,000. 

Her honesty and integrity would eventually be rewarded. Although the owner of the money wished to remain anonymous, the owner gave Lessing a reward. 

“They asked us if we would give you $1,000 out of that money and give that back to you,” Frank Holland, Vice President of Donated Goods at Goodwill, said. “Thank you for what you’re doing and your integrity. You’re really living our values and that’s for you.”