Goodwill Worker Rewarded for Helping Return $42K She Found in Donated Sweaters

Andrea Lessing
Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma

A Goodwill employee in Norman, Oklahoma, got a big reward last week for helping return a stack of cash accidentally donated with some clothes.

Andrea Lessing came across the money as she sorted through donations at the store but did not realize until later what she found because the money was wrapped in two old sweaters, according to Fox 13.

Lessing initially thought it might be books, but when she looked closer her find was actually $42,000 in cash.

“I never expected anything like this to happen to me of all people,” she told reporters. “To me it was just another normal day at work. I was in the back sorting. I never expected to come across $42,000.”

Lessing, who said she did not even think about keeping the money for herself, reported the lost money and Goodwill eventually tracked down its owner thanks to documentation left with the donation.

However, the young woman got another surprise when the owners who accidentally donated the money wanted to recognize her honesty.

“As a reward they gave Andrea $1,000. With tears in her eyes, Andrea said she plans to use some of that money to give her daughter a wonderful birthday,” Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma said Friday in a Facebook post:

What would you do if you found $42,000? Our new store associate Andrea was in that predicament two weeks ago when she…

Posted by Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma on Friday, March 26, 2021

The organization also commended Lessing.

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

A Goodwill representative also told Fox News Lessing found “the largest cash find reported for our Central Oklahoma Goodwill locations” in its history, and one of the biggest cash finds of any Goodwill location.

However, Lessing was not in complete shock over the discovery.

“Just from working here for about a month and a half, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of weird things that have been donated,” she explained.


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