Man Finds $43,000 In Couch He Bought For $35 At Thrift Store, Returns It To Rightful Owner

Howard Kirby’s daughter opened up the cushion and found the cash after her father complained the couch was uncomfortable to sit on.

A man from Michigan was shocked to find $43,000 in cash inside a couch that he had purchased for just $35. Howard Kirby had bought the couch at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Owosso and within a month of using it, discovered the wad of cash tucked into one of the cushions. He was adamant that the cash did not belong to him and decided to return the money to its rightful owner, according to a report by ABC News.

Kirby had found the couch uncomfortable so his daughter decided to investigate the source of discomfort. She opened it up to find $43,170 hidden inside the ottoman. “That’s when she started pulling out this,” said Kirby, referring to the cash, according to WNEM. “I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming or something. It still boggles my mind,” he said. An attorney had confirmed to Kirby that he had no legal obligation to return the money and was within his rights to keep the cash for himself. However, Kirby didn’t feel it was the right thing to do and contacted the Michigan Habitat for Humanity store manager.

Kirby, who enjoys shopping for items at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, asked the store manager if he could track down the owner of the couch. Store manager Rick Merling contacted the family he had acquired the couch from and told them that Kirby had found something that “they’re gonna want back.” The couch was originally owned by the family’s grandfather, Phillip Fauth, who had died a year earlier. Shortly after the grandfather died, the family had contacted the thrift store in Owosso and asked them to come and collect the couch.

Kim Fauth-Newberry, the person Merling contacted, was not sure what to expect but assumed it would old pictures of their grandfather. “I think they were hoping there might be some pictures. They would have never dreamed that it was money,” said Rick Merling, the store manager of the store. A total of $43,170 was handed over to Kim Fauth-Newberry. “It was very, very shocking to them,” added Merling. “It’s just crazy,” said Fauth-Newberry. “It’s completely awesome.”

Kirby met with the Fauths at the thrift store and returned the cash. The wad of notes appeared to be marked with paper notes, which the family’s grandfather probably made. The family gave Kirby a hug for returning the money and shared a few warm words with him before posing for a few pictures for the onlookers and media at the store. Kirby could’ve used the money for a new roof that he badly needed but it just didn’t feel right. The store manager appreciated Howard Kirby for doing the right thing. “He could use it. … He has needs, but he said he just felt this prompting from God that said, ‘This isn’t yours,'” said store manager Rick Merling.

Merling says it’s not uncommon for people to call after finding things that they bought from his thrift store but he says it’s the first time someone has actually returned anything of value. When asked about Howard Kirby’s response after returning the money, Merling said, “He’s happy that he’s got a couch. Someone said, ‘Are you gonna give the cushion back?’ And he said, ‘No, that’s a $43,000 cushion.'”

Facebook users were full of praise for Howard Kirby’s generous act. Wow….kudos to that guy…good things will come his way… a clear conscience is priceless. I bet he thought hard on that for a few days before he made his decision, wrote one user. Another wrote: Wow, what an exceptional human being. I’m sorry to know that most people would have kept the money as I can admit it would be tempting but I believe in karma and I’ve always believed that ill-gotten gains will only bring you misery.

Acknowledging Howard Kirby’s generosity, a GoFundMe page was created to “reward Howard’s honesty and generous soul.” The description read: Let’s raise a reward for Howard and surprise him. Howard is truly a man with a kind, giving and selfless heart. The page has already raised $885 and if the donation trend continues, Howard Kirby might just have enough to fix that roof.

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