Search for hid­den cash

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Bryce Luff

A LO­CAL grand­mother sparked a state-wide search last week af­ter the two cush­ions in which she kept her life sav­ings were ac­ci­den­tally do­nated to char­ity.

The cush­ions and the $25,000 in them were dropped off at the Sal­va­tion Army store in South Fre­man­tle af­ter a home clear-out in May.

When the North Coogee res­i­dent (76), who asked the Gazette not to re­veal her name, re­alised her mis­take a cou­ple of weeks later she re­turned to the store. The cush­ions had been sold. “I’ve got a lit­tle bit of money in the bank which I use to pay my bills but this money was my se­cu­rity to help my kids if they needed any­thing des­per­ately,” she said.

“I never ever touched it. It was there more like an in­her­i­tance re­ally.”

The woman had kept the stash in two pale printed cush­ions for more than a year.

Keep­ing a por­tion of her money out of the bank was some­thing she had done since the global eco­nomic cri­sis.

The ac­ci­dent was another sad chap­ter in her re­cent past, with her hus­band and aunt both dy­ing in the past six years.

She said she was des­per­ate to see the money re­turned.

“I’m just hop­ing some­one will look at the cush­ion, see the money and be hon­est and let me have it back,” she said.

Be­cause most of the cash was in $100 bills, the woman said it was largely un­no­tice­able when placed in the cush­ions.

It slipped her mind when she do­nated to the Hamp­ton Road branch and went un­de­tected by Salvos staff.

A Salvos spokes­woman said staff and vol­un­teers qual­ity checked do­na­tions to en­sure they were in a sell­able con­di­tion be­fore they were placed on the shop floor.

“The store at which the cush­ions were do­nated re­ceives lots of gen­er­ous do­na­tions and there­fore reg­u­larly dis­trib­utes ex­cess items to other stores in WA,” she said.

“The store man­ager has been in touch with all stores in WA ad­vis­ing them of the wrongly do­nated items and asked the store teams to keep an eye out for any sim­i­lar do­na­tions.

“We hope the money can be re­turned in full to this woman and urge any­one who has bought the cush­ions to come for­ward and re­turn it to the owner.”

A re­ward is be­ing of­fered to see the money re­turned to the woman.

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