Goodwill employee rewarded for turning in cash found at store

Friday, September 23, 2011 | 5:44 p.m. CDT; updated 7:12 p.m. CDT, Friday, September 23, 2011
Albert Jesse, 24, goes through donations at Goodwill off Grindstone Parkway on Friday. Jesse, who has been working at Goodwill for a little over a month, found a small cardboard box containing $1,300 while going through donations Sept. 13 and turned the money in to his manager.

COLUMBIA — Albert Jesse smiled sheepishly Friday as his manager at Columbia's Goodwill outlet, Josh Rackers, recognized him for his character and his "good deeds."

While sorting through donated items at the store on Sept. 13, Jesse found about $1,300 in cash in a small cardboard box.

The story of Jesse's good deed spread quickly through the company, and on Friday, Rackers presented him with a $100 check on behalf of Goodwill.

Jesse, 23, admits that he thought about keeping the money for amoment, but decided that his job was more important.

"$1,300 only goes so far," he said. "A job goes a lot longer."

Instead, he turned the money in to Rackers.

"This is a very honest young man,” Rackers said. "I was proud — not a lot of people would have turned it in."

The money Jesse found has not yet been claimed and will be held at the store for 90 days, Rackers said. In order to claim the money, the owner will need to describe the box the money was found in, as well as the denomination of the bills inside.

If no one claims it, the money will be donated to Goodwill’s rehabilitation centers, which help people find and maintain jobs.

"It takes a very special person that will take (the money) and say, ‘this isn't mine’ and do the right thing and report it to their supervisor," said Mark Kahrs, senior vice president of retail for Missouri MERS/Goodwill.

“Especially in this economy, when it would be easy to just walk away with it." 

Although this is a first occurrence for the Columbia Goodwill, a similar situation happened about two weeks ago in the St. Louis metro area, Kahrs said.

"We are very happy when our employees choose to do the right thing, and it's extra special when one of them finds something like this," Kahrs said. "We're very proud to have these types of individuals working for us."

Crystal Herber contributed to this story.

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