A West Seattle lost/found story with a happy – and honest! – ending

What would you do if you found cash just lying out in the open, absolutely no hint as to who had lost (or left) it there?

Times are tough. You can imagine that many might at least fleetingly consider keeping it.

But a WSB reader we’ll call Texasgirl – her Forums handle – decided to find the owner of the cash she and her boyfriend discovered. She e-mailed us:

My boyfriend & I were out walking (Sunday) afternoon at about 1 PM, and we found quite a bit of cash laying on the sidewalk on Admiral, on the bridge over Fairmount Avenue … It’s enough money that we’re sure the rightful owner is missing it. These are tough times for many out there, and we know this could be someone’s grocery money or rent money. If someone can identify the amount and denominations, we’d like to arrange to return the money to them. If the rightful owner isn’t located, we’re planning to donate the cash to a worthwhile charity.

We e-mailed back to suggest they contact police, and post in the WSB Forums, where lost/found notices are welcome (aside from pets, which have their own page). So they did. And it worked.

Here’s Texasgirl’s forum post (similar to the e-mail above). On Monday, we got a note from Heidi Herr, owner of Bird on a Wire Espresso, saying she had been walking to an ATM to make a deposit Sunday afternoon and found money missing when she got there. “I can’t believe someone found it/wants to return it!” Heidi wrote. “How do I contact them?”

We put them in touch, and it turned out to be a match. So we thought we’d share the story here. Hooray for honesty!

10:14 PM POSTSCRIPT: Just before publishing this, we e-mailed Texasgirl to ask if we could at least use her first name. She said yes – she’s Karen and her boyfriend is Phill. She added, “It would’ve been great to make a donation of several hundred dollars to a charity, but I’m especially happy to get it back into the hands of a small business owner in our very own community. My grandfather was a small business owner just like Heidi and I know it would have been awful for him to accidentally lose a deposit like that.”

35 Replies to "A West Seattle lost/found story with a happy - and honest! - ending"

  • Aman January 10, 2012 (9:39 pm)

    Nice! VERY Nice!!

  • bj January 10, 2012 (9:42 pm)

    so sweet. and WSB played a critical role.

  • Dan January 10, 2012 (9:53 pm)

    Ok….. This is good….. REALLY good….. My faith in humans just went back up a tick.

  • lady January 10, 2012 (9:57 pm)

    It always pays to do the right thing. As tempting as keeping the money might be, it’s never worth it to benefit from someone else’s loss. Good job, good neighbor and good job, WSB!

  • gatewood January 10, 2012 (10:28 pm)

    another wonderful reason why i live in west seattle

  • Valerie January 10, 2012 (10:38 pm)

    Oh, hooray indeed! Thanks for the story!

  • jd January 10, 2012 (10:45 pm)

    Wow! Karen and Phil … your compassionate, selfless, thoughtful, & kind hearts and spirits are wonderful examples and reminders that there are people all around us who consciously choose to do the right thing in any and every situation. I hope your families have the opportunity to read what you two have done. I plan on sharing this story with my two young boys. Who needs Mayberry when you’ve got West Seattle! Way to lead by example Karen and Phil!

  • hmmm January 10, 2012 (11:01 pm)

    I would have bought Zippys for a month.

  • coffee January 10, 2012 (11:10 pm)

    My grandmother always said a good deed always pays back 100%. So if its true your act of kindness should pay off over your life lots! And yes these acts are what makes our community most wonderful!

  • Norma January 10, 2012 (11:18 pm)

    One of the reasons that I miss living in West Seattle. The wonderful friends we made. Just plain good hearted people!

  • Amanda January 10, 2012 (11:24 pm)

    I think she did it just for the good press ;)

  • wsguy January 11, 2012 (12:59 am)


  • Paul January 11, 2012 (1:47 am)

    dang too bad I didn’t find it first!..ahh well good karma for you guys

  • Barry January 11, 2012 (2:04 am)

    Heidi has visited my coffee shop in Seattle, wonderful person. This is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  • Without my Phone January 11, 2012 (4:58 am)

    I really needed to hear this story! So happy to hear about good people doing the right thing.

  • ME January 11, 2012 (6:48 am)

    So heartwarming! Bless you!

  • jsv888 January 11, 2012 (7:32 am)

    Great story with great ending. I just hope Heidi takes precaution. Lots of people now know she walks across that bridge with a large sum of cash. Hopefully that’s not the route she takes every day. Be careful out there!

  • Carol Wagener January 11, 2012 (7:35 am)

    Oh…It’s A Wonderful Life Indeed! Bedford Falls has nothing on West Seattle and Karen and Phil.

  • MaryCooks January 11, 2012 (8:35 am)

    What a happy story. Karen and Phill, you rock!

  • bestbets January 11, 2012 (8:36 am)

    So proud of my Admiral neighbors! Thanks for sharing a positive story.

  • JO January 11, 2012 (8:37 am)

    WOW! Such a good way to start my day! They took the time to try to find the rightful owner, they made a plan for giving the money to a worthy cause, they thought way beyond themselves-Karen and Phill, you are an inspiration! Kindness changes everything! Thank you Karen and Phill-another example of what I love about our community!

  • LyndaB January 11, 2012 (9:14 am)

    Very cool. That is a fantastic story!

  • Jim P. January 11, 2012 (9:29 am)

    Bravo, well done indeed.

    It is good to see people of honor at work.

  • AJP January 11, 2012 (9:37 am)

    What a wonderful story! I’m so glad there are people like this in the world!

  • Cinda January 11, 2012 (9:59 am)

    Well done! I’m assuming Karen and Phill get free coffee at Bird on a Wire for life?

  • marty January 11, 2012 (11:09 am)

    Great story. Sure beats reading the crime log!

  • Brian M. January 11, 2012 (1:56 pm)

    What a great story! We are lucky to have folks like Karen and Phill in our midst!

  • anon January 11, 2012 (2:22 pm)

    Good for them for going the extra mile, great reading a story like this with a happy ending.

  • DF January 11, 2012 (5:54 pm)

    Truly wonderful. Now carry on with more it ! : )

  • NotMe January 11, 2012 (5:59 pm)

    Wow… THAT just made an otherwise blah day a whole lot better. It’s good to know there are some good people in my neighborhood!

  • johnnyblegs January 11, 2012 (6:53 pm)


  • heidi January 12, 2012 (11:06 am)

    Thank you again Phill and Karen! I hope everyone takes pride in our community. I am lucky to have stumbled upon West Seattle 10 years ago ;)

  • Silly Goose January 12, 2012 (11:16 am)

    This all your good Karma coming back to you Heidi!! ;)

  • Phill January 12, 2012 (1:58 pm)

    Heidi, so glad we were able to get the funds back in your hands. It was a pleasure meeting you last night and we plan to stop by your shop soon. Thanks for the wonderful coffee…Phill

  • Betty Ruby January 13, 2012 (8:50 am)

    I am Karen’s Mom and I love all of the comments. I am very proud of her — and Phill. Lesson learned for everyone carrying cash around! Proud Houston Mom

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