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$10,000 in shoebox turns up at Sunnyside's Goodwill store

The moral dilemma of whether to keep or report more than $10,000 found at a Goodwill store didn't even cross Chella Cardenas' mind.

"I was doing what I do every day," the Sunnyside Goodwill store manager said. "I was sorting items in the shoe department."

The discovery was made while Cardenas was sorting through the store's donations and looked inside a shoebox. She immediately reported her finding to Goodwill executives, and now the team is actively looking for the owner of the funds.

"It was a shocker," she said. "I've been with Goodwill for (more than) 16 years and I've never found anything like this."

Cardenas says Goodwill Industries of the Columbia is taking calls from anyone claiming to be the owner of the shoebox loaded with cash, at (509) 735-7238. The money isn't at the Sunnyside store anymore, however, Cardenas said. But it has been taken to a secure location.

Executive director of the region's Goodwill Industries, Gordon Comfort, says he's not one bit surprised by Cardenas' integrity to report the finding.

"I'm not at all surprised by the level of integrity and honesty (displayed) by Chella," he said. "She's been with Goodwill for a long time and this just shows her dedication to Goodwill and its mission."

Comfort added he wouldn't be surprised by any of the organization's employees, sure they would do the same thing.

"I am shocked, though, by the amount of money she found," he added with a chuckle.

The Tri-Cities-based non-profit says they do hope to find the owner, whether the shoebox full of money was a mistake or an actual donation.

"We are really hoping to find the true owner," Cardenas added.

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