When Tyler Gedelian, 29, manager of a Goodwill store in Monroe, Mich., stumbled upon stacks of $100 bills totaling more than $43,000 stashed in the pockets of some old suits and robes last Wednesday, he never once thought of keeping the money.
No, not once.
"There was never a question," Gedelian told Monroe News. "I don't even think I did anything special. I did what any person should do. If it was my money and I lost it, I hope somebody would try to find me."
Gedelian said he was so concerned for the person who the money belonged to he immediately called the police.
"My biggest concern was getting the money back to the rightful owner," said Gedelian. "I certainly can't imagine losing that kind of money. I was so nervous having so much of someone else's money."
Thanks to the honesty of the Good Samaritan who was only used to finding loose change in the pockets of donated clothing, police were able to find the owner of the money and return it.
It belonged to the elderly relative of a man who asked not to be identified in the Monroe report.
He explained that he was simply cleaning out the relative's closet and had no idea his relative had that kind of money. He noted, however, that he was most impressed that Gedelian was honest enough to give it back.
"I am really proud of those people at Goodwill," said the man. "It makes me feel good there are people out there like that, especially in this day and age."
Gedelian, who was alerted to the money while sorting through clothing with Laura Pietscher, a job coach at Goodwill, said when Monroe Police Officer Kris Joswiak arrived to pick up the money he only had a small zippered bag to carry it.
He said when he saw the bag, the first thought that popped into his mind was "you're gonna need a bigger bag."
Sgt. Chris Miller who sorted the cash, which came in bills issued as far back as the 1930s, said they were able to track the owner of the money through a wallet that was among the bills. He also had high praise for Gedelian.
"It would have been extremely easy to take the money and walk away," Miller said. "It's reassuring to know there are people in this world who are willing to do the right thing."
As for the owner of the money? He plans on meeting with Gedelian and Pietscher at a later date to thank them personally.
"There aren't many people like that today," he said. "I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. In this world we live in, we need more people with morals like that."