Thrift Stores

People go to thrift stores hoping to find treasures that the former owner no longer wanted. You can find vintage clothing, antiques, furniture, and old records at a thrift store. When three roommates went to their local Salvation Army, they never imagined what they would end up bringing home.

The Roommates

Lara Russo, Cally Guasti, and Reese Werkhoven found an apartment in New Paltz, located in New York’s Hudson Valley. Each of the roommates was either enrolled in college or recently graduated. Because of this, they didn’t have much money which was what led them to move to a neighborhood that wasn’t considered the most luxurious. They didn’t mind; however, because they were finally on their own.

Making Sacrifices

Now that the trio had to make rent, they had to make sacrifices. There were no dinners out. Instead, they lived off Ramen noodles and cereal. Rather than going out at night, the three spent their nights together in their apartment. There was one thing that they were willing to spend money on. They needed furniture for their new apartment. They knew that they couldn’t afford a brand new couch so they headed to the Salvation Army to find something that they could afford.

Choosing a Couch

When the roommates looked at the couches, they found a few that they liked. Unfortunately, they saw just one couch in the store that would fit into their living room, and it was ugly. They tried to ignore the appearance of the couch and just be thankful that it cost only $20. The trio lugged the couch home, and they set it up in the living room.

Second Thoughts

When the roommates sat on the couch, they began to regret their purchase. The couch was very lumpy and incredibly uncomfortable. After sitting on the couch for a few minutes, they started to think that there was something in the couch causing it to feel lumpy. The three roommates started feeling inside the cushions and the pillows to see if there was something hidden there. The students search through lumpy old couch and make startling discovery. When Reese pulled out a thick envelope, the trio was shocked. They kept searching and kept finding envelopes. By the time they were finished, they had several of them.

Money!

When the trio opened the envelopes, they found that they were filled with money. There were a variety of denominations that ranged from $1 to $100. There were so many bills that counting it took a lot of time. Finally, when they were done, they counted $41,000. They talked about how much rent they would save if they paid with the money they found. Reese said that he would love to use his share to buy his mother a car. When they found one last envelope, it put a wrench in their plans.

The Last Envelope

The last envelope contained bank deposit slips and other documents with someone’s personal information. They were sure that it was the name of the person who the money belonged to. It didn’t take long for the roommates to decide to do the right thing. They called the Salvation Army to get the previous owner’s name and address.

Returning the Money

When the three roommates got to the address that they were given, they saw that the house was in bad shape. There were “Beware of Dog” signs hanging all over the fence. They weren’t sure what type of person would open the door. When a little old lady opened the door, they felt better about their decision to return the money.

Getting Some Answers

The woman told the roommates that she grew up in a time where banks couldn’t be trusted. Because of his, she and her husband hid their nest egg in the couch. When her husband passed away, she forgot about the money. It didn’t even cross her mind when her children bought her a new couch, and they donated the old one. The woman told the trio that she had been struggling financially since losing her husband and she was thrilled that they returned the money.

A Reward

When they gave the money to the woman, she counted out $1,000 and gave it to the trio. She told them that they deserved the money for being so honest. It may not have been $41,000, but $1,000 for a $20 couch wasn’t a bad return. The three roommates were happy that they did the right thing. Many of their friends told them that they were crazy for returning the money, but they didn’t care. Their friends didn’t meet the sweet old woman who had lost her life savings. They did, and they were happy to return it to her.

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