Goodwill Employee Discovers $42k in Donated Sweaters, Returns Money to Owner

by Emily Morgan

One Goodwill employee is living up to the store’s name after the good samaritan returned a bundle of cash to its previous owner. Andrea Lessing was expecting an ordinary day when she clocked in her for her shift at Goodwill; however, it turned out to be the exact opposite.

The Oklahoma native discovered a whopping $42,000 while sorting through the donated clothes. At first, she was confused. The donor had wrapped the copious amounts of cash in two raggedy sweaters.

At first glance, Lessing thought she might be holding books, but after taking another look, it turned out to be cash. And a whole lot of it. “I never expected anything like this to happen to me of all people,” she said in a statement to Fox News. “To me it was just another normal day at work. I was in the back sorting. I never expected to come across $42,000.

After her discovery, Lessing did something commendable: she reported the money, and luckily, the store was able to find the owner. Lessing said that she believes in “karma” and added that she wouldn’t have imagined keeping the money for herself. “I made the right decision, and I did the right thing,” Lessing said.

Goodwill Employee Gets Cash Reward for Good Deed

The karma ended up working in her favor. The grateful individual immediately gave her $1,000 for her kindness. “I just want to say thank you because he was a blessing,” Lessing said of the donor who rewarded her. “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.”

In addition, the chain of popular thrift stores took notice of Lessing’s good deed and commended her for displaying the values they hope to instill in their employees.

“The actions of Andrea and our Goodwill organization are real life examples of one of our core values: integrity,” said Jim Priest, JD, the CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma.

“Andrea showed integrity when she turned in the money. Goodwill showed its integrity as an organization by tracing the donors so we could return the money. Andrea could have kept the money and Goodwill could have kept the money, but integrity is doing the right thing and it’s a core value we strive to live out every day.”