On May 29, Joe Cornell, a 52-year-old California man who lives at and works for the Salvation Army Fresno Adult Rehabilitation Center while going through his own drug rehab stint, found a bag loaded with $125,000 in cash that was mistakenly dropped from an armored truck transporting the money bags. Although Cornell is a man of little monetary means, he is rich in heart. Cornell returned the bag of cash it because it was the "right thing to do."
On the day he found the money, Cornell was watering trees at the rehab center where he’s staying, when he heard some commotion around the corner. The source of the commotion was a car honking a horn at a Brink’s truck, according to Reuters. And that’s when Cornell said he saw a bag of money fall out of the Brink’s truck. When he recovered the bag, thinking it was probably filled with clothes or something, he said it was stuffed with hundred dollar bills.
"I started crying and shaking," Cornell said. "Everything was going through my mind, the good devil/bad devil thing," he said.
Cornell got his boss from the Salvation Army involved; and together they contacted local law enforcement about the found money. A spokesperson for the armored car company, headquartered in Virginia, said that the Brink’s company is rewarding Cornell with $5,000, plus donating another $5,000 to the Salvation Army.
Cornell reportedly was conflicted at first about what to do with all that cash, according to ABC News.
“I thought about it, it was a good-devil-bad-devil thing on your shoulder, but taking the money wouldn’t compare to what my grandkids would think of me if I did something like that,” Cornell said.
“This shelter is trying to change my life. I tried to do the right thing.”
Cornell has been in rehab for drug addiction since January. For more on the story, see the video accompanying this article.