FORT WALTON BEACH — Richard Wills was sorting clothes — just as he does every day at his job at Goodwill Easterseals of the Gulf Coast in Fort Walton Beach — when he came across an envelope full of money.
“I just realized, there’s a lot of money, like a lot of hundreds,” Wills said of the find. “I just went to get the manager and the vice president.”
The money added up to $3,100 found in the inside jacket pocket of a suit that had just been donated. The envelope was addressed to a man who, after a quick online search, was found to have died a year ago. However, after calling a local funeral home, the man’s widow was reached.
Wills said the most exciting part of entire experience was returning the money. According to Goodwill's staff, the woman had no idea her husband had the envelope of money stashed in his suit, and had no idea where it came from.
“It was really good. It was really great,” Wills said of meeting the man’s widow. “She was surprised. She gave me $100 for the reward for finding it.”
It was not the first time Wills has found a large sum of money while sorting clothes. In 2012 Wills found $1,100 in another suit pocket that also was returned to its rightful owner.
Wills, who is developmentally delayed, has been working for Goodwill since 2005, when he was trained through a transitional youth program while in high school in Okaloosa County.
“He always does what’s right,” said Bill Dillman, vice president of marketing and development for the company. “He goes over and above our expectations. We have about 600 employees and they are all very honest people.”