A Goodwill store manager found $43,000 dollars inside donated clothes last week and his first move was to track down its rightful owners.
Tyler Gedelian, who manages a Goodwill store in Monroe, Mich., said it’s not unusual to find loose change in donated clothes. But envelopes containing neatly bundled $100 bills? That was a first, he said.
“We might find a quarter in somebody’s jeans,” Gedelian, 29, told Monroe News. “But that blows my mind.”
Gedelian, 29, didn’t even count the money. His first move was to phone the police to help him track down the person who donated the clothes.
He explained that he didn’t even think about keeping any of the crisp $100 bills because it wasn’t his money.
“My biggest concern was getting the money back to the rightful owner,” he said. “I certainly can’t imagine losing that kind of money. I was so nervous having so much of someone else’s money.”
Police eventually tracked down the man who donated the suits and robe. The donor, who asked not to be identified, explained that he had donated the clothes after cleaning out an elderly relative’s closet. He had no idea the money even existed.
“I am really proud of those people at Goodwill,” the man said. “It makes me feel good there are people out there like that, especially in this day and age.”
Gedelian said the cash was discovered when he and Laura Pietscher, a job coach at Goodwill, were sorting a load of new donations. Pietscher notified Gedelian after she found one of the envelopes and the two of them worked to make sure they had collected all the cash.
They called the police and an officer promptly responded to the call. Law enforcement officials then transported the money to a police station where it was counted and sorted.
The stash was comprised entirely of $100 bills, some of them dating back to the 1930s. Police also found a wallet containing the name of the person eventually tracked down.
“It would have been extremely easy to take the money and walk away,” Sgt. Chris Miller said. “It’s reassuring to know there are people in this world who are willing to do the right thing.”
The rightfully owner of the money said he will personally thank Gedelian and Pietscher for their honesty.
“There aren’t many people like that today,” he said. “I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. In this world we live in, we need more people with morals like that.”
But it was a no-brainer for Gedelian. Pocketing the money never occurred to him.
“There was never a question,” he said. “I don’t even think I did anything special. I did what any person should do. If it was my money and I lost it, I hope somebody would try to find me.”
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