OWOSSO. Mich. (WJRT/Gray News) – When Howard Kirby found more than $43,000 in a couch he bought at a secondhand store, he knew he couldn’t keep it.
An Ovid man found $43,000 in the cushion of thrift store furniture and returned it to the owner.
But, for a time, he sure thought about it.
"I know how it is to lose something and never get it back," Kirby said after returning the money.
Kirby purchased $70 of furniture from a Habitat for Humanity ReStore location in central Michigan.
But after a few weeks, one of the cushions didn’t feel comfortable.
Kirby’s daughter-in-law agreed with him, so she looked for an answer.
"She opens it up and pulls it out and she says, 'Dad, money,’" he said.
When all the bills were counted, the box held $43,170.
With thousands of dollars of cash in his hands, Kirby’s mind started to race.
"Everything just ran through my mind: Now I can pay off the house, I can get a roof on my house, and I can retire real good and everything," he said.
Kirby talked to a lawyer, who said he could legally keep the money.
But then, he turned to his faith.
“What would Jesus do? Jesus would give it back to the rightful owner," Kirby said.
He got in touch with the thrift store and they located the Newberry family who had donated the couch last month after their grandfather passed away.
As tempting as it was to keep it, Kirby said he knows returning the money was what he needed to do.
"I've heard about it happening before and I always thought, ‘What would I do if I found that money?’ Now I know," he said. "Makes me feel good. I believe I'm doing the right thing."
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