Forgotten money finds its way home thanks to store owner

- A donation to a second-hand store turned up a big surprise.

On August 18, someone dropped off a used briefcase at The Hope Store in Johns Creek.

“The Hope Store is a non-profit that supports children's charities,” says general manager Randy Thompson.

Thompson says the briefcase was locked. When he couldn't open it, he decided to throw it in the trash.

“In between throwing it in the trash, something jiggled around in it. I said, 'Well, let me open it'. I opened it and inside, which was the only thing inside the briefcase, was an envelope.”

Thompson discovered $29,500 worth of U.S. Savings Bonds. They were purchased in the early, mid and late '90s.

He contacted a friend, who is an attorney, to help track down the owners. In the process, he learned the man who bought the bonds passed away in 2013, and his widow resides in an assisted living facility in Alpharetta. On Thursday, her son drove down from the Carolinas to claim the bonds.

“Sure, we could technically say 'Yes, those are ours. It was donated.' But, that's their money. That's from their father. So, rightfully, it's theirs.”

Thompson says this isn't the first surprise donation The Hope Store has received. Someone once dropped off a three-carat diamond ring.

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