Good Neighbors

Man Returns $43K Found In Couch, Gets Outpouring Of Support

He could have really used the cash -- which makes what he did even more amazing.

Howard Kirby has been down on his luck the last few years. His son Ben lost his job, so his family and six pets had to move into his small home in Ovid, a town in mid-Michigan.

On top of that Kirby was getting divorced and lost a close cousin to cancer after dodging the disease himself when doctors found a tumor while removing his kidney.

So, when he purchased a $70 set of used furniture from a Habitat for Humanity Restore, he certainly didn't expect to find what he did. When he brought the furniture home, he noticed that the foot stool cushion felt a bit lumpy. His daughter looked inside, and what she found left her at a loss for words. “Dad, money!" was the only response she could muster.


The family found two envelopes with $43,000 cash stuffed inside. Kirby thought about what he could do with that kind of money. He could pay off his house, help his kids, do the repairs he had been putting off for some time. But he knew the right thing to do was to return the money.

“Being a born-again Christian, Christ in me is the one that actually gave the money back," Kirby told . “Remember the bracelets, WWJD? Well, that's what Jesus would do."


Kirby returned to the thrift store and they connected him with the family that donated the furniture. Turns out, the footstool was part of a living room set that belonged to Phillip Fauth, the grandfather of Kim Fauth-Newbury. Philip passed away last year, and his family had no idea about the money he left behind.

“This is just crazy," Fauth-Newbury said when Kirby handed over the stacks of cash.


When the story of what he did got out, Kirby received an outpouring of support from the community. A local building supply company donated materials for a new roof for his house and a local contractor volunteered to build it. Additionally, a GoFundMe campaign that was started to support the family has raised over $5,000.

As for Kirby, he says he doesn't regret his decision, not even for a second.

“I have had so much peace, so much joy because I did do it, that $43,000 never could buy that much joy or peace or happiness," he said.

Kudos to Kirby for doing the right thing!


You can take his lead and practice kindness to others every day. You may not stumble across $43K, but you can choose to be honest when you do come across something of value that belongs to someone else. Let's be like Kirby and #StartSomethingGood together.

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