Man Finds $43,000 Hidden Inside Thrift Store Couch, Returns Stash to Original Owner



A Michigan man made a mind-blowing discovery after purchasing a second-hand sofa in December 2019; the original owner had stashed a sizeable haul of $100 bills inside one of its cushions. The buyer, motivated by a sense of moral obligation however, returned every last dollar to the owner’s family.

According to the Daily Mail, 64-year-old Howard Kirby purchased the $35 second-hand couch and matching ottoman at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Owosso, Michigan. Kim Fauth-Newberry gifted the set to the thrift store after clearing her late grandfather Phillip Fauth’s home.

Kim’s family had no idea, however, that the unwanted furniture was stuffed with cash.

Kirby took his new couch home, but after several weeks of struggling to get comfortable on the ottoman, his daughter-in-law had the inspired idea to unzip the cushion cover and look inside. The pair found precisely $43,170 in mixed bills.

“I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming or something,” Kirby told WNEM.

Kirby called the thrift store to ask for their help in locating the original owner. According to ABC News, Phillip Fauth passed away in 2019. Then his family left their contact information with Habitat for Humanity, and the sofa was collected to be resold at the store.

On Jan. 16, 2020, Habitat for Humanity organized a meeting between Kirby and Kim. In front of news cameras, Kirby handed the stack of bills to a tearful Kim, who thanked him, commenting, “It’s just crazy.”

“Why he’s got money in cushions, I don’t know,” Kim’s husband, Mike Newberry, reflected.

The family also commented on the incredible circumstances surrounding Kirby’s find, admitting that they had intended to burn the couch if the thrift store hadn’t taken it.

“It was very, very shocking to them,” said store manager Rick Merling. “I think they were hoping there might be some pictures. They would have never dreamed that it was money.”

“He could use [the money],” Merling added, reflecting on Kirby’s generosity. “He has needs, but he said he just felt this prompting from God that said, ‘This isn’t yours.’”

Kirby told CNN that despite his own financial needs, he felt good about his decision to return the stash to its rightful owner. “I always thought, ‘What would I do if that ever happened?’ And now I know,” he said, “it makes me feel good.”

In response to footage shared on YouTube by 8 News Now, many viewers felt that Kirby’s kindness deserved rewarding. “[T]he money was rightfully his,” wrote one viewer, “they should have gave him half as a reward.”

“What [a] great thing you did returning it,” wrote another. “I’m hoping and praying that the original owners gave that man some kind of reward for being honest!”


Kirby spoke with an attorney, reports CNN, and learned that he had no legal obligation to return the money. But moral duty, he admitted, got the better of him.

“It belonged to them, and I’m glad I was able to give it back to them,” Kirby explained. “As a born-again Christian, I want to do what Christ would want me to do, and I think that’s what he would want me to do.”

Merling concluded that his generous customer was simply “happy that he’s got a couch.”

Republished with Permission The Epoch Times    SUBSCRIBE

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