Do you bother to ask for a receipt when you donate your old stuff to Goodwill? If not, you might start after reading what happened to a couple after they donated some clothes.
Workers at the store told the Times-Recorder of Zanesville, OH, that they sometimes encounter money while processing donations. They might find, at most, a $50 or $100 bill. When they discovered the duffel bag, they initially thought it was play money — $97,004 in very realistic-looking play money.
“I just laughed and said look at all my money I found,” the employee who opened the bag said. Another worker looked at the cash, and wondered what would happen when the donor found it missing. What if it were counterfeit? The store first contacted the phone number left on the receipt, then called the police.
Eventually, they connected with the donor to return the money and find out what happened. The couple were in the middle of moving, and had filled the trunk with things to donate to Goodwill in a different city.
While the trunk was still full of castoffs, the donor’s husband says that he had gone to the bank to withdraw a large amount of cash, which they planned to deposit in a different bank.
Instead, they deposited the bag of cash at Goodwill, and were lucky to have found honest employees. The couple had no idea what happened until they returned home to find messages on their answering machine from the Goodwill store and from the police.
Normally, a manager told the Times-Recorder, the store collects maybe a few hundred dollars per month on average from money stuffed in pockets and purses.
“We have some honest, loyal employees,” she told the newspaper. “I’m very proud of them.”
The couple who accidentally donated the money say that they collected it from the police station and immediately deposited it in the bank.
“We are so thankful to everyone that we got our money back,” the husband said.
This is the biggest case that we’ve heard of, but people accidentally donating thousands of dollars to the chain of thrift stores isn’t unheard of. The largest accidental donation that we’ve reported happened when someone donated a suit stuffed with $43,000 in cash to a Goodwill store in Michigan.