Have you ever bought something from a thrift store and found more than just what you bargained for? Well, that’s exactly what happened to a group of college students. They purchased an old couch from a Salvation Army store, expecting nothing more than comfort. But little did they know, this simple couch would lead them on an incredible journey.
After settling the couch in their dorm room, the friends gathered around for a movie night. As they lounged on the couch, they noticed something unusual – crinkles in the side pillows. Intrigued, they decided to investigate further. To their astonishment, they discovered not one, but two bubble wrap envelopes hidden within the couch cushions.
One of the students, Werkhoven, a geology major, described the mixture of terror and excitement they felt: “We tore them out and were completely terrified when we saw an inch and a half of $100 bills.” They carefully counted the money, documenting each step with photos. To their disbelief, they had stumbled upon a staggering $41,000! It was a discovery that would change their lives forever.
The Moral Dilemma: A Test of Integrity
At first, the students couldn’t contain their excitement. They began fantasizing about all the possibilities that this unexpected windfall could bring – from buying a car for a friend’s mom to even getting a boat. But their joy quickly turned into moral ambiguity when they noticed something important – one of the envelopes had a woman’s name on it.
It was in that moment that the students realized they hadn’t earned this money. The sense of entitlement vanished, and they knew they had to do the right thing. Guasti, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, expressed their sentiment, saying, “Because we didn’t earn that money.”
Despite their initial temptation, the students knew they couldn’t keep the money. Their parents supported their decision to find the rightful owner. In order to protect the treasure from potential theft, the parents advised their children to keep it a secret.
The Reunion: Returning the Fortune
With the help of Werkhoven’s mother, the students embarked on a diligent search to find the woman whose name was on the envelope. After flipping through the phone book, they finally found her contact information. Werkhoven mustered the courage to make the call, unsure of how the woman would react.
When he told her about the couch, she couldn’t believe her ears. “Oh my God,” she exclaimed, “I left a lot of money in that couch.” Werkhoven then revealed, “I found something that I think is yours.” It was an emotional moment for both parties as they realized the incredible chain of events that had unfolded.
The Woman’s Story: A Hidden Fortune
The elderly woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, revealed a heartwarming story to her newfound friends. She shared that her late husband had secretly stashed the money in the couch to secure her future after his passing. With no other place to hide it, she carefully concealed her savings in the couch cushions, unknowingly passing it on to a new generation.
In recent years, the woman had undergone back surgery and spent months in a rehabilitation facility. Her doctors advised her children to replace the old couch to alleviate her back pain, leading to its donation to the Salvation Army. Little did she know, her fortune remained hidden within the cushions until those college students stumbled upon it.
Doing the Right Thing: A Lesson in Integrity
The students, despite the temptation and their wild fantasies of how they could spend the money, felt no remorse in returning it to its rightful owner. In fact, they expressed a genuine desire to meet the woman and her family, suggesting they all go out for dinner after the reunion.
Werkhoven summed up his perspective by saying, “I think it’s just that anyone can do good if they will themselves to it.” Another student, Russo, added, “I believe everything went as it should, and to be honest, I don’t really think about it that much.” It’s a testament to their unwavering integrity and character.
A Reward for Good Deeds: A Heartwarming Ending
As a token of appreciation for their honesty, the woman graciously shared $1,000 with the three students. It was a heartwarming ending to an extraordinary story of integrity triumphing over temptation.
The Lesson Learned: Making a Positive Impact
This incredible tale serves as a powerful reminder of the impact we can make by simply doing what’s right, even when faced with temptation. It teaches us the value of honesty and integrity, showing that anyone, regardless of age or background, has the ability to make a positive difference.
So the next time you find yourself in a moral dilemma, ask yourself – would you act in the same manner? Let this extraordinary story inspire you to choose kindness, honesty, and integrity. Share it with your friends and family to spread the message of doing good.
Remember, it’s never too late to make a positive change in the world.