Value Village returns $85K cash donated by accident to Vancouver senior

Farah Khan
·2 min read
A Value Village store is seen Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Edmonds, Wash. The company that operates 300 Value Village, Savers and other thrift stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia is suing Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, saying his office has violated its rights by demanding $3.2 million to settle a three-year investigation. TVI Inc., of Bellevue, said in the lawsuit filed in federal court Monday that it's trying to head off an anticipated complaint from the attorney general's office. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A Value Village store is seen Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Edmonds, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Staff at a Vancouver Value Village store returned over $85,000 in cash donated by accident, to the rightful owner, a senior who now lives in a long-term care home.

Jeffrey Stonehouse, store manager, and his employee found the cash packed in envelopes in a yellow plastic bag on Jan. 18 at the Venables Street Value Village.

“We quickly removed the bag from the production room floor, and secured it in the office, and began to do our investigation,” Stonehouse explained to Yahoo Canada.

As soon as the cash was counted, he called the police as per store protocol. Stonehouse did not get into the specifics of the procedure but said that if they find a large amount of money, they do report it.

It’s not uncommon for Value Village employees to find money, or receive calls about items that were accidentally donated, but Stonehouse said it’s usually only pocket change they find.

“Based on the denomination you can tell whether it was intended,” said Stonehouse.

His first reaction was whether the cash was real or legal, but after seeing the dates printed on the bills such as from 1988, and bank receipts, he figured the cash must have been stashed away for quite some time.

“We were surprised,” said Stonehouse. “We didn’t really understand the full scope of what we were doing initially, and it wasn’t until probably half way through our count that we realized where we were going to end up.”

The money was donated by the owner’s family by accident with clothing, but the bank receipts had the name of the owner which helped them find the senior who it belonged to within 24 hours.

“In this particular situation, it was really easy for us to work with the police to find the owner, and in other instances there may not be anything that would signify where so or what to do,” said Stonehouse.

Stonehouse said it was unexpected but felt good to do.

Here’s how the internet reacted to the act of kindness: