British Columbia

$85K found inside Value Village donation bag in Vancouver

Several envelopes stuffed with cash were found in a bag full of donated household items.

The owner's family had accidentally donated the cash while clearing out her storage locker

Staff at a Value Village in Vancouver were shocked to discover $85,000 in cash in a donation bag. (CBC News)

It was a normal shift for Value Village manager Jeffrey Stonehouse. He and a colleague were in the back room of a Vancouver store on Monday, sorting through donations.

Then, while going through "a very old bag," he noticed there were some envelopes mixed in with the other household items.

That's not too uncommon, says Stonehouse, who expected to find some personal papers stuffed inside.

But when Stonehouse and his colleague opened up the envelopes, they found much more than personal papers. 

"This was certainly the largest sum of money I have ever come across," he said.

Value Village manager Jeffrey Stonehouse says as soon as he saw the money, he knew someone donated it by mistake. (CBC News)

Inside the envelopes was $85,000 in cash. Stonehouse says the cash appeared very old, as if someone had stashed it away and forgotten about it.

"When you're dealing with this you know immediately that the person didn't intend to have it come your way," he said.

"We take every step we can to make sure it gets reunited with the person it belongs to."

Stonehouse then contacted police who, thanks to an old bank receipt in the bag, were able to identify the money's owner — an elderly woman who now lives in a retirement home.

Her family had cleared out her storage locker and unknowingly donated the bag containing the envelopes full of cash.

"It was nice to get that money back to her," Stonehouse said.

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