EAST WENATCHEE -- It's not uncommon for sorters at Goodwill Industries to find some change or a few bucks in donated items.
But Taide Gonzalez was in for the surprise of her life last week when she opened a gray purse and found $38,000 in checks and $1,500 in cash inside.
"I've never seen a lot of money in my hands before," said Gonzalez, who's worked as a Goodwill pricer and sorter since 2006.
She said she immediately took the funds to store manager Darryl Hull, who remembered a woman calling earlier in the day to to say she thought she had accidentally left money and checks in some donated items.
He called the woman who quickly came in to retrieve the funds. "She was overcome with joy, about falling down," he said.
The woman's mother had recently died and the donated items came from her estate, Hull said.
Did Gonzalez ever think about keeping the money?
"No," the 27-year-old said. "I think if I ever left some money somewhere, I'd like it if they would give it back to me."
Hull said the company is planning to put together a reward for Gonzalez. He did not know how much it would be.
"We like to encourage this type of thing among our employees," he said.