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Goodwill employee finds $2,600 inside donated clothes

Goodwill Employee Finds Thousands Of Dollars In Donated Clothing
GLEN CARBON, IL (KTVI) – It happened again: a Goodwill employee discovered an accidental donation of thousands of dollars while sifting through donated clothes.

"I've been with Goodwill for over 9 years, and you just never know what you're doing to find," says Glen Carbon Goodwill Store Manager Cissy Altevogt. In this case, an employee found $2,600 in cash inside a piece of donated clothing.

More details about Monday afternoon's discovery can't be released, to make sure the cash gets back to its rightful owner. Altevogt says they've already narrowed it down to three or four people, based on when it was donated and video surveillance.

Meanwhile, this Glen Carbon Goodwill is no stranger to accidental, high-dollar donations. "The first one was $7,500 in cash, the second one was $2,600 also," says Altevogt.

In both situations, the money was returned, but Altevogt says this is a good opportunity to remind people to slow down and check each item before tossing it into the donation bin: "You get in a hurry, you put something somewhere and all of a sudden you donate it."

There's another reason for these accidental donations, though. Altevogt continues, "When we found the $7,500 actually, it was in an envelope, and the lady had passed. So she had stashed the money in a shoebox."

That's why, if you do stash money, let someone know, before it's too late.

"Let a family member or someone they trust know, so that it doesn't get accidentally donated. But if it does, and it comes to the Glen Carbon-Edwardsville Goodwill, we will make sure that it gets back to the rightful owner, as proven two other times and soon to be three," says the store manager.

Within the past two years, $20,000 worth of accidental donations have been made to Goodwill. If you truly believe this $2,600 is yours, you can call Goodwill at 314-982-8802.

If the rightful owner isn't found within 30 days, the money will benefit Goodwill programs.

Here is the latest: MERS Goodwill has narrowed down more of the details through its video surveillance.
• The organization can say that the donation appears to have been made between 3:45 and 4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 3.
• The drop-off donation also appears to have come from one of either a black SUV or a white SUV.
• Additionally, the cash donation was found in an article of clothing that MERS Goodwill employees were sorting through.
• Approximately 15 people have called to claim the money, but no one has matched the description of the donation thus far.

Join the discussion

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Jessica March 09 2014 at 11:05 AM

Like I said sit back and listen to the employees you will hear the true story of Goodwill, I've heard it all from, even thou they are not suppose to buy from their own store they hide things and have a friend come buy it for them I have also heard managers say don't put this or that out I have someone I am going to have come get it or I want it.

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2 replies
bjredmond64 Jessica March 09 2014 at 11:25 AM

that is true. people will be people. let's just say, they arent supposed to do that. they are being dishonest when they do. goodwill does not approve of the action.

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1 reply
Jessica bjredmond64 March 09 2014 at 11:35 AM

Thats true according to company rules, but when managers do it then the employees think it OK for them

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atlantiscalydon Jessica March 09 2014 at 11:26 AM


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1 reply
Susan atlantiscalydon March 09 2014 at 12:33 PM

I worked in education for many years. You have no idea how much money Goodwill gave to our students for training so that they could get on their feet and get their lives together. They make money at the retail level to support these educational programs. Your irresponsible comments do not help the very people Goodwill is trying to help.

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buzzyseed March 09 2014 at 12:15 PM

Sad, many older people hide their money becuase they think someone is stealing from them. They died and relatives just pitched items.

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Patricia March 09 2014 at 12:22 PM

Ease717..if your point is the case, why does America have so much poverty? Why are the schools and churches in city after city having clothes drives, coat drives, food drives..just to feed and clothe our people? Goodwill is a muli million dollar franchise...if what you say, is true, then why do they price their donations with theridiculous prices as they do? To put people to work? Nah, its to pay the 'big man's' way of life! I've seen the donations, behind closed doors. Piles and piles of bags of clothing...so, much they cant go through them in a year! Sitting there, molding away, while people who cant even afford the $Dollar stores, try to clothe themselves and their babies. We were raised on the Goodwill donations. I had 6 sisters and 2 brothers. Back in the time, when you walked into the Goodwill and was handed paper bags to fill for $1 a bag. Now you cant afford to put two items in a bag! Do your research. Go online and explore the WEALTH of this company. It nothing more than a 'SIN' and sin of greed. I for one, will never donate to them. I would rather sit a bag of clothes near a neighbor and let whoever finds it, have it ... NO CHARGE! The GOODWILL RAPES THE POOR! That's my moto!

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2 replies
RJ Patricia March 09 2014 at 12:28 PM

Goodwill is a network made up of 167 independently operated Goodwill regions in the US and Canada. Each has their own CEO who's salary and compensation package is determined by their performance. Some have fat packages and some don't. Overall Goodwill Industries returns 80% into it's programs. One CEO in an area near me makes a base of $50 grand plus a commission of 1/4 of 1% of the sales generated in the region, paid monthly. This pushed him well over 6 figures annually. The better he performs the bigger his check is. I'm sure there are Regional GW CEO's who are getting more than they deserve. There are many false reports and urban legend emails out there spreading nonfactual bunk about charities. Go to a site like Charity Navigator to compare different charitable organizations before you give. One good aspect of GW is many of the people in their training programs are basically unemployable because of some type of physical or mental disability and would not have a job without GW and their training programs.
I've never been in a GW store but it took less than 2 minutes to find this information based on 2012 Data.
People served through employment and training programs: 6.7 million
Mission services provided: 134 million
People who earned a job with Goodwill’s help : 216,000
Estimated total earnings of people who earned a job with Goodwill’s help: $3.62 billion
Total revenue generated by Goodwill organizations: $4.89 billion
Total revenue spent directly on programs: 82 percent
Total number of donors (includes repeat donations): 83 million
Total number of retail stores: Over 2,700 and an online auction site.

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1 reply
glduff RJ March 09 2014 at 5:46 PM

RJ, you seem to be smart and well informed so let me suggest that you occasionally visit a Goodwill store. I started poking around their places when I made a few donations, actually at the location featured in this story, and as I looked through the store I found some dress shoes that I knew were several hundred dollars new for $8. I seldom wear dress shoes anymore but for $8 what the heck. The large leather desk chair I'm sitting in right now I bought for $25. I've also found cashmere sweaters, a suede bomber jacket, and many other great bargains. I have nothing bad to say about these guys and for the record I couldn't care less that the CEO is well paid. The people who write that a high salary is nothing but greed are fools who undoubtedly haven't even a small fraction of the abilities needed to run a large organization.

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dendynamicdsk Patricia March 09 2014 at 12:33 PM

I find your story very interesting. It is sad to find out that all the donations I have given them
can not go to the real people that need them. I will think twice before donating again.
Thank God for people like you. Keep up the good work

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sebastiandunbar March 09 2014 at 12:25 PM

Goodwill is a scam, a for profit enterprise. It's amazing the crap they sell and the over the top prices they ask, especially at their "rare and antiques" counter where one can come across a warped guitar with a busted neck for $90 or a crappy print of the Mona Lisa for $200

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1 reply
e08a13 sebastiandunbar March 09 2014 at 11:29 PM

All of their donations are free and most donors think they are helping the poor. They aren't.
Our local store has a person to overprice items. When they have multiples of something that was donated by a store, they will all have different prices on them. They receive new items from Target and other stores and will have purple stickers. Things with Dollar Store price stickers still on them are 99 cents.

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juliegscott March 09 2014 at 12:30 PM

This just shows you there are truely honest people in this world.I shop and donate all the time at Goodwill and always love going there and there are always great people that work there.

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1 reply
turnerized juliegscott March 09 2014 at 1:29 PM

Your getting Scammed. Quit donating to this billionaire

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Rob March 09 2014 at 12:32 PM

Found a 1941 Gibson acoustic at Goodwill years ago. Paid $25 for it. Needless to say it's worth a hell of a lot more.

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1 reply
sebastiandunbar Rob March 09 2014 at 2:02 PM

I found a Peavy acoustic there once, they were asking $150 for it, and it had a busted neck, no strings, the bridge was missing, and there was a huge crack on the back. Needless to say, I did not buy it but pointed it out to the manager who shook his head and said they have minimum for instruments regardless of condition.

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oceaniablu March 09 2014 at 12:38 PM

Honesty is to be admired... I knew someone who worked @ a Goodwill & found around a total of $200.00
She didn't turn it in... She "funded" herself a trip on a Girls Weekend. I always wondered about her integrity... She always seemed to know about things in my home, & made comments about the condition of my home, & had no problem in bringing her sister & mom in to see the results of the completion of a remodeling job in my house we worked on as a team.....Was never same between the 2 of us after that....I began to surround myself with a bit more integrity...wonder why

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1 reply
Easy Money oceaniablu March 09 2014 at 4:44 PM

I wish I had a girlfriend or significant other like that as I deeply resent honest women that seem to occasionally congregate around me & who I would not touch with a ten foot pole. A woman who can rip you off with a straight face however remaining true to her mate is someone I'd hold in high esteem. Likewise are those who engage in those tactics in their professional capacity, such as sweeties capitalizing on their agreeable figures at scrap yards by the weigh scale pulling fast ones when you disembark from the weigh area & such.


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Jackie March 09 2014 at 12:40 PM

Thabks for honest people.

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steph March 09 2014 at 12:48 PM

I've shopped at Goodwill and found many nice things there.....I was there once and watched a fellow who evidently knew what he was doing, because he found all kinds of treasures for little money that I'm sure were worth much more than they were priced...he was good !!!! you just have to learn what to look for...

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sarpao March 09 2014 at 12:15 PM

Gosh i used to work 4 a goodwill in indiana. Shortly before i was hired a sorter found an old book with 500 pages or so and a crisp$100 dollar bill slipped in between each page. the store manager did a check on the $ to see if it was counterfeit. it wasn't but i had a feeling the managers divied it up between themselves. thats the kind of people they were when i came to work for them.

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