Posted on: January 27, 2020 at 4:43 pm
Last updated: June 3, 2020 at 10:25 am

Honesty will never go out of style, and integrity is the principle that never fails. For Howard Kirby from Owosso, Michigan, a situation that would have only been a dream for most people came true in his case, and he hadn’t been dreaming when he shocked everyone with his decision. Howard is a regular customer at Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Owosso, Michigan. Last December, he bought a second-hand couch with an ottoman for his den. A few weeks after he made the purchase, he noticed the ottoman was quite uncomfortable to sit on, and his daughter cut open the cushion to see what was inside. It turns out, this man found $43k in cash inside of the cushion!


The ottoman

Surprisingly, she found a box containing $43,170 worth of crisp notes [1]. As expected, the whole thing was too surreal for the family.

I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming or something,” Howard said to WNEM [2].

Never wavering in his principles, Howard sought out the actual owner of the couch and found that it belonged to Kim Fauth-Newberry. Kim’s grandfather, Philip Fauth, passed away last year and left her the couch – and of course, the insane amount of money buried inside it.


However, since the couch had changed hands and there had been no knowledge of the money prior to the transaction, Howard was under no legal obligation to return the cash. He could have decided to keep it for himself, but he was morally bound to give it back to the owner.

Few people would have done the same.

The story had a lot of people online questioning their principles and morals. While a lot of people were proud of Howard’s choice, many others thought he’d wasted his good fortune.

Howard admitted that he had moments of doubt about his decision. He needed a new roof and all that money would have been greatly helpful to him, but none of his financial burdens would weigh more than the guilt of keeping what didn’t belong to him 

“I always thought, ‘What would I do if that ever happened?’ Now I know, and it makes me feel good,” Kirby said.

On January 16, the Habitat ReStore threw a surprise get-together to return the money to Kim, who had no idea why her grandfather had so much money hidden away. However, she was grateful to the honest man who went as far as searching for her to return what was truly hers.


“It’s completely awesome,” Kim said. 

 “Why he’s got money in cushions, I don’t know,” said Fauth-Newberry’s husband, Mike Newberry.

Speaking to the station, manager of the Habitat ReStore says everyone has deep lessons to learn from Howard’s incredible act of kindness.

To me, this is someone who, in spite of what they’re going through, in spite of their own needs, has said, ‘I’m just going to do the right thing,‘” he said.

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  1. Meredith Digital Staff. Man returns money after finding $43,000 in couch he purchased at thrift store. CBS. Retrieved 24-01-2020
  2. Rachael McCrary. Man finds $43K in couch he bought from store. WNEM. Retrieved 24-01-2020
Penelope Wilson
Team Writer
Penelope is a writer and health enthusiast with a B.Arts in Language Studies. She is a deeply spiritual person, a relationship expert, a nutrition freak, and a skin-care maverick.

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