Students find $40,000 in a couch and look for the rightful owner
Lara Russo, Reese Werkhoven and Cally Guasti are students at the State University of New York. They’re also roommates and live together in a small apartment. In 2014 they needed a new sofa, but like most students they didn’t have a lot of money to spend. They ended up at a local thrift store and at first were not very impressed with the selection.
They didn’t have many options: the only couch in the store that fit in their small living room was a pretty ugly one, which also had a rather peculiar smell. But it only cost $20 so they decided to take it.
When they got the couch home they cleaned it up and put it in the living room. But one night while watching a movie, one of them felt a lump inside one of the cushions. When they opened the zipper, they found an envelope with $700. The three students were shocked, but then came even more surprises. The continued searching through the cushions and found more envelopes. In the end they had discovered a total of nearly $41,000!
Their first instinct was to start thinking about how they would spend all that money. But during their search they also came across an envelope with a name on it. Realizing that the money actually belonged to someone else, the honest students knew that they couldn’t keep it. "We all agreed that we had to bring the money back to whoever it belonged to. It's their money. We didn't earn it,” explained Lara.
The next day they found the name in a phone book. When they called, an older woman answered. Reese told her the good news, "I have something that is yours." "What?" asked the woman. "I found a couch," continued Reese. "Oh my God, I hid a lot of money in that couch!" exclaimed the woman who was obviously shocked and surprised at her good fortune.
It turns out that the woman and her husband had been stashing money in the couch for years as a type of retirement plan. The woman had been sleeping on the couch since her husband died and had suffered from back problems because of it. Her daughter, thinking she was doing her mother a favor, got rid of the old couch and bought her a bed so she could sleep more comfortably. She had no idea that she had thrown out her mother’s life savings along with it. Thankfully it ended up in the hands of three very honest young people who also had their own happy ending: the woman was so grateful to have her money back that she gave the students a $1,000 reward.
It’s good to know that there are honest people out there, and these three are a shining example for their generation. They were happy to receive the reward but they also know that doing the right thing can be a reward unto itself!