Roommates Return $40K Found in Old Sofa
Cash was widow's life savings
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2014 2:25 AM CDT
Lara Russo, left, Cally Guasti, center, and Reese Werkhoven sit on the Salvation Army sofa in their apartment in New Paltz, NY.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(Newser) – A 91-year-old widow in New York state has been reunited with her life savings thanks to the honesty of three young roommates who found the cash in a beat-up sofa they bought from the Salvation Army. Months after buying the couch, the trio were astonished to discover $40,000 stashed in the arm cushions, the AP reports. After finding a name written on an envelope, they contacted the sofa's former owner and discovered she had stored her savings in it for more than 30 years.

While the elderly woman was in hospital after an operation on her back, her daughter unknowingly got rid of the couch her mother slept on and replaced it with a full-sized bed. After the find, "we had a lot of moral discussions about the money," one of the roommates tells Little Rebellion. "We all agreed that we had to bring the money back to whoever it belonged to. It's their money—we didn’t earn it." They say that after they handed the money back, she cried in gratitude, and rewarded them with $1,000. (A homeless man recently did something similar—for a second time.)

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Showing 3 of 36 comments
ghinthorn
May 23, 2014 10:31 AM CDT
The Newser community cracks me up. They praise teenagers for giving money back they didn't earn, then turn around and scold hard working people for not paying enough taxes to give to people that didn't earn it.
trebor171
May 17, 2014 10:23 AM CDT
Very nice story. The daughter should be happy her inheritance just increased by 39K.
dennis
May 16, 2014 7:11 PM CDT
Not everyone trusts the banks any more