What would you do if you found US$43,000 in old furniture you bought from a thrift store?
One Michigan man who found the cash stashed in a second-hand couch he bought, decided to return all of it.
Howard Kirby shops frequently at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Owosso, 30 miles west of Flint where he purchased a couch from the store in December for his man cave.
This weekend he discovered the couch was filled with thousands of dollars in cash. “I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming or something,” he said.
One year after he returned $43,000 in cash from a secondhand couch he had recently bought, Howard Kirby says he would do it all over again because that’s what Jesus would do.
“The Holy Spirit just came over me and said, ‘No, that’s really not yours,’” Kirby said.
Kirby says he was told by an attorney that he had a legal right to keep the money, but he still made the decision to return it to the owner. The family said that their deceased grandfather had stashed the money into the cushion.
When word got out about what he had done, it became national and international headlines.
Strangers donated the labor and materials for a new floor and roof, and a Canadian man started a GoFundMe account that raised $15,000 for Kirby.
“It really reestablished my feelings toward mankind itself,” Kirby said.
“The world, there’s so many good people out there, whatever they believe in. There’s a lot of bad people, and the evil in the world shows up and we remember the evil a lot more than [when] anything that’s good happens, but I’m happy that [what] I done did encouraged so many people.
“It makes me feel good because I was able to put out there, how I believe in Christ, and that’s what Jesus would do.”
Recently Kirby needed surgery to remove a kidney but he still says that he’s had a great year. His 11th grandchild was born and his son and daughter-in-law bought a house nearby, too.
“I’ve been blessed,” Kirby said. “There’s been a lot of things that happened that I wish never did, but then, that’s a part of life. I don’t get discouraged, and when I do, I look back at what happened at that time. I never expected any of this to happen… It’s been a difficult and a wonderful year.”
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2).