Down-on-His-Luck Busboy Finds $3K, Turns It In

Johnny Duckworth says he never even considered keeping the money
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2015 10:20 AM CST

A Colorado busboy who's low on cash and dealing with medical issues didn't let his own woes stop him from doing the right thing. Johnny Duckworth found $3,000 Tuesday in an envelope that had fallen behind a booth at Randy's Southside Diner in Grand Junction, the AP reports. But while he could have pocketed the money, Duckworth headed right to owner Randy Emmons. "He ... said, 'Boss, I found this envelope, it feels like it has a lot of money in it,'" Emmons tells KKCO. "And he handed it to me and walked away. … I was shocked." Shocked not only at the 30 $100 bills inside, but also at Duckworth's integrity, considering his own circumstances: On the GoFundMe page Emmons set up to raise money for his star employee, who he says has worked at Randy's for nine years, he notes Duckworth's car is broken down and that he relies on others for housing, lacking the cash for his own place "because of the doctor bills he's [acquired] that garnish his paycheck every week."

An ATM slip inside the envelope allowed a local bank to track the $3,000 back to diner regular Darrell Cox, who had no idea he even left the money behind until the bank called. He showed back up at the diner on Thursday to scribble a note to Duckworth that said, "Merry Christmas to a super honest guy," Cox tells KKCO. He also gave Duckworth a $300 "tip" for his honesty. But Duckworth doesn't think what he did was a big deal. "It's not mine," he says, per the station. "I work for a living; I make money." Emmons raves on the GoFundMe page, which has already racked up more than $11,500 as of this publication, that this attitude for the worker nicknamed "Thumper" isn't unusual. "Thumper is a great guy," Emmons writes. "He would give his last dollar out of his pocket to anyone that needed it, even though he doesn't have much himself. … That's the kind of employee I wish all of my employees were." (Similarly honest workers turned in a bag containing $32,000.)

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