Cathy McAllister, a volunteer coordinator for Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association, Inc. (VNSA) in Phoenix, Arizona, is getting much attention for doing a kind deed recently.
In preparation for VNSA’s annual book sale, Cathy found nearly $4,000 in a hollowed-out copy of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Each book gets checked for smoke damage, and as she fanned out the pages, she discovered what she first believed was Monopoly money.
“I thought, ‘wow, this is really cool. Somebody took an X-acto knife and hollowed out a space’, and I looked at it again, and I thought, ‘no, this is real money,” Cathy said in an interview.
At first, Cathy thought to add the money to the coffers of VNSA and support one of the charitable causes they affiliate with, but then she noticed the original owner’s name was in the book, along with a note of instruction for his kids.
She knew then she wanted to find the family to whom the money belonged. Thanks to a unique last name, a quick ten-minute internet search led her to the right folks.
The family came to the VNSA warehouse and retrieved the mislaid stash of cash. Cathy relayed the kids’ curiosity. They’d asked their father if he hid any other funds in his book collection. He said he did not.
The main question on everyone’s mind is why she did not keep the money for herself, and it shocks Cathy.
“I don’t know how you would sleep at night,” she said.
We are so glad Cathy did the right thing. The family used part of the money to donate back to VNSA, and the February 9th sale was a success. After all, as Cathy says, “books make a great gift.”