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Homeless Man Finds $17,000 - What Does He Do? It Will Bring You to Tears

12-10-2018

A homeless man found a brown sack full of cash in front of a local Sumner, Washington Food Bank. So what did he do?  Instead, of taking any of the $17,000 inside, he turned it into the food bank that had fed him.

The News Tribune reports Kevin Booth was making an early morning stop at the organization's community bread box three months ago when he saw something laying on the ground and decided to investigate. He reached inside the bag and pulled out a $20 bill.

"Of course, I sniffed it to see if it was real," he told the newspaper. "Then I was like, do I take off or do I stay?"

Booth, who has lived in the Sumner area for 19 years and has been homeless for the last seven, thought about what he could do with the cash. He realized the money could help a lot of other people and decided to turn it into the food bank.

"I felt like doing the right thing would be better than taking off with it," he told ABC News. "It made me feel good."

When a volunteer showed up to open up the food bank for the day, Booth gave her the bag without even telling her what was inside of it. The volunteer thought it was food and took the bag inside to weigh it. Upon opening the bag, they discovered the $17,000.  

Anita Miller, the food bank's director, notified the police. When officers arrived, they determined the cash was real and used security camera footage to see what happened.  The video didn't reveal who dropped the bag, but they did see Booth finding it.

Miller said tears filled her eyes when she realized what Booth had done.

"I cried because it's so neat to think someone so needy would bring this to us," she told ABC News. "I mean this man doesn't even have a roof over his head."

The Sumner Police Department kept the money for 90 days, which according to state law, is the length of time someone could make a claim on it. No one did, so the police returned the money to the food bank. They also honored the man who found the cash. 

Police Chief Brad Moericke awarded Booth the Chief's Citizen Citation for his honesty. "Not every citizen would be as honest as you in this situation," Moericke told him, according to The News Tribune

"There are a lot of people who would have taken it," Booth said. "I'm just not that person."

Miller also gave Booth part of the money in gift cards. The rest of the money will be used to expand the food bank facility, where it serves around 1,000 families a month and about 300 homeless people a week. 

Booth said he is excited about the plan, telling ABC News that he hopes the expansion will mean the food bank can feed more people.

A GoFundMe account has been set up with Booth's permission by a Sumner resident to help him. So far, more than 408 people have donated $13,875 toward a $17,000 goal. 

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