KOMU 8 explores Goodwill treasure hunting

COLUMBIA - Back in December 2015, KOMU 8 News got a tip about how the Columbia Goodwill Store off Grindstone Parkway received many furniture and belongings during April and May thanks to spring cleaning and graduation. Not only this, Goodwill also had multiple incidents where one would find "treasure" hidden in some of the items. 

Karla Gough, store manager of Goodwill in Columbia, said her store has found large sums of money in dressers, puzzle books, puzzle boxes and coat pockets. 

"If the employee finds it, they do report it to us, a manager," Gough said. "Then, the process is we try to figure out what bag it came in and then we look on camera to see if we can find out what vehicle it came from. And, then, if we can't figure that out, it goes to our lost prevention team." 

Gough said it's a process, but these incidents do happen. She also nodded in agreement it's fun to look for "hidden treasure" in donated Goodwill items... every day. 

"I've been here for a long time, and it's a new experience every day," Gough said. 

Gough said the most money she's ever found at Goodwill was $100. When asked what the weirdest thing she's ever found at Goodwill was, such as a jewel or a diamond, she replied there's just so much. 

"Every day is different," Gough said. "Rolex watches to fur coats... you wouldn't believe some of the stuff people donate. It's amazing." 

Gough said, for some of the donations, it's a generation thing to receive furniture filled with money in it because people who grew up during that time, the Traditionalist era (1900-1945), did not trust the banks because of the Great Depression. When asked about the future of money, if money will go all-electronic and no more cash, Gough said she doesn't believe "treasure hunting" will stop at Goodwill.  

"There's a treasure hunt here every day," Gough said. "Just different kinds of knick knacks, the brasserie eggs, old silverware, old jewelry, I don't think that's going to go away." 

Mark Shields, a local Columbia resident, said he's been shopping at Goodwill for two to three years. When asked what he would like to find at Goodwill, he said money and old baseball cards. He said he'd like to particularly look for Babe Ruth cards. He also said he'd like to find a thousand dollars. 

"I'd probably shop a little bit more in here [Goodwill] and then put the rest in my pocket," Shields said. 

Lynna Purvis, another local Goodwill shopper, is a 2nd Grade student at Southern Boone Primary School in Ashland. She said she also comes to Goodwill four times a week, probably. 

"I would like to find Littlest Pet Shop or Shopkins," Purvis said.

Lanie Purvis, twin sister to Lynna Purvis, also goes to Southern Boone Primary School in Ashland. When asked what she would like to find at Goodwill, she said some large stuff animals to use them as pillows. 

"I like to find money and jewelry," Purvis said when asked if she'd be interested in finding these. 

Gough said before donating anything to Goodwill, check your pockets and make sure the furniture is in re-sellable condition. 

If you've found any treasure at your local Goodwill, we'd like to hear from you. Please send an email to KOMU 8 News.