Most of us have probably daydreamed about discovering something of great value – whether it be inheriting an antique vase worth a fortune, or stumbling upon a priceless painting at a market. However, such scenarios are often just wishful thinking. It’s rare for anyone to accidentally come across something that will make them thousands of dollars richer.
But as the saying goes, odds are there to be upset. Just ask Howard Kirby, an elderly man from Owosso, Michigan who likes to shop for secondhand items. In December 2019, he visited the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in search of furniture for his man cave. There, he found a used couch and matching ottoman that he purchased for a mere $70.
What he got, however, was far more than he bargained for. After taking the set home and placing it in his man cave, Howard noticed that the ottoman felt “odd” when he sat on it. It was less comfortable than the sofa that it came with, so he decided to investigate. He and his daughter unzipped one of the cushions and were surprised to find a locked box inside.
To their amazement, when they opened the box, they found stacks and stacks of hundred-dollar bills. Howard counted the money and it came to a whopping total of $43,170. As a new retiree facing financial difficulties, he could have legally kept the money, but being a born-again Christian, he ultimately decided against it.
Howard contacted the store to ask who had donated the ottoman and after finding the original owner, he returned every penny. “Being a born-again Christian, Christ in me is the one that actually gave the money back,” he said. “Remember the bracelets, WWJD? Well, that’s what Jesus would do.”
The rightful owner of the cash, Kim Newberry, was amazed by Howard’s gesture, and her family offered to fix his roof. However, Habitat for Humanity and a local builder had already made plans to give Kirby a new roof based on his heartwarming generosity.
Howard’s incredible act of kindness inspired a GoFundMe campaign, which raised over $15,000 in support of him. “I’m blessed beyond words,” he said. “I have had so much peace, so much joy because I did do it, that $43,000 never could buy that much joy or peace or happiness.”