Goodwill employee finds $42,000 wrapped in a sweater, returns the money to the owner

Andrea didn't hesitate even a second before she decided to return the money to the rightful owner.


What would you do if you found a huge amount of money? Would you keep it for yourself, or try to locate the person it belongs to and return it? Different people would do different things if found in a situation like this, but for an employee at Goodwill in Norman, Oklahoma, not returning the money was never an option. She didn’t even hesitate a bit when she decided to report that she found $42,000 wrapped in two sweaters donated to the store.

Speaking to Fox 13, Andrea Lessing explained that she noticed something rectangular while stocking the clothes. At first, she believed it was a book, but moments later, she noticed it was money, and it was a lot of it.

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

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

As she believes in karma, Andrea told the place’s manager about her discovery and they managed to track the owner of the money thanks to the information he left when donating those sweaters.

“I made the right decision, and I did the right thing,” Andrea said.

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

When the money was returned to the rightful owner, he was touched by the act. And as a reward for Andrea’s integrity, he gave her $1,000.

“I just want to say thank you because he was a blessing,” Andrea said of the cash reward. “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 though this pandemic. We don’t know their situation so it’s better to just be kind.”

The CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma commented Andrea’s act and said: “The actions of Andrea and our Goodwill organization are real-life examples of one of our core values: integrity. Andrea showed integrity when she turned in the money and 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.” 

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

The young mother is planning on spending the $1,000 on a birthday celebration for her daughter.