Good Neighbors

Woman's Thrift Store Find Reunites Photo Album With Owners

The album and its decades of memories is back where it belongs, but not without some twists and turns.


When Wendi Shaw went shopping at the Chadds Ford Goodwill outside Philadelphia recently, she could never have imagined the fascinating tale she'd eventually be able to tell.

Among the cast-offs at the thrift shop, Shaw discovered a photo album with a collection of family pictures from the 1950's titled "My Gang" but with no names. She decided to spend $3 to buy it and see if she could find the owners on Facebook. "I am bit of a treasure hunter and sometimes I see one photo or something, but I picked this album up and I was like, 'this person's whole entire life is in here,'" said Shaw told WPVI-TV.

A lost lifetime of memories. Beccah Hendrickson/Twitter


Beccah Hendrickson/Twitter

Goodwill's Colleen Marrone told WPVI it's not uncommon that a family treasure is accidentally donated. "We'll try to find that donor when we can. This was a little tricky because there's really no reference to any person in the book," said Morrone.

Shaw reached out to WPVI for their help in her treasure hunt, and they obliged, with a report by community journalist Rebeccah Hendrickson who posted to her social media. Digital Team member Justine Palis posted the story to the station's Facebook and Twitter.

Beccah Hendrickson/Twitter

You guessed it! Someone on Facebook recognized Frank and Nancy Yocum in the pictures. The couple had recently moved to a nearby retirement community and the photo album accidentally ended up in a box to be given away. In another twist of fate, turns out Justine Palis, the producer who posted the story for WPVI? She's the Yocum's granddaughter! She didn't pick up on it because only saw pictures of her grandparents' friends and didn't recognize them from so long ago.

Beccah Hendrickson/Twitter

The photo album is now back with the Yocums -- with WPVI capturing Wendi Shaw's special delivery on camera. "Everything was getting mixed up because we had so many boxes," explained a rueful - and grateful Nancy Yocum. Frank Yocum offered to pay Shaw back her $3 she spent on the album. Shaw graciously declined!

How can you start something good?

Most of us will never be in a position to return a precious keepsake to someone. But it just goes to show the difference you make when you keep your eyes open, have a heart for others, and a willingness to take the time to help like Shaw and these people previously featured on Sparkt:

Woman's Garage Sale Find Returns Purple Heart to Family

Firefighters Find and Return Ring That Survived 2 Fires

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

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