Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A worker at a Texas thrift store made an unusual discovery while going through a box of donations -- $17,050 in the pocket of an old coat.
Guadalupe Reesor, who works at the Resale Shop owned by Jewish Family Service in Richardson, said she was sorting clothing donations and examining them for stains and holes when she discovered something had been left in the pocket of a black pea coat.
"I checked the pocket here, and this was full of money," Reesor told WFAA-TV.
The money, totaling $17,050, was separated into four envelopes.
Reesor brought the cash to her boss, Assistant Manager Kristina Russell.
"It was just so much that she could hardly hold on to it. I looked at it and thought 'that can't be real,'" Russell said. "We still couldn't believe it. $17,000."
Russell contacted Cathy Barker, chief operating officer at Jewish Family Service.
"I get a call from Kristina, who's the assistant manager, saying something crazy happened and she doesn't know what to do," Barker said.
The workers examined the envelopes and discovered one of them bore a name they connected to an entry in the store's donor database.
The donor, a 78-year-old widow named Sheri, said she donated her husband's old coat after his death in January. She said she did not know about the stash of cash
Barker said she matched it to a name in the donor database and tracked down the person - a 78-year-old widow who asked to only be identified as Sheri.
The coat belonged to her late husband who died in January. Sheri said she was surprised to learn there was money tucked inside of it and has no idea why he put it there.
The store cut Sheri a check for the $17,500 found in the coat's pocket. She said the money will go a long way toward helping with the financial problems that have been mounting since her husband's death.
"I didn't even reconcile my checking account this month," Sheri said. "I didn't even want to know what I'm going to be doing next year and what I'll have to give up."
Sheri awarded Reesor $1,000 for her honesty.