A California man who returned a bag containing $125,000 in cash received a $5,000 reward for his honest gesture.
Joe Cornell is a volunteer with Salvation Army and according to his account, he was volunteering in downtown Fresno when he found the cash. The bag of money had reportedly fallen off of a Brinks armored truck, and when Cornell found it, he knew he had to return it.
“I just did it because it was the right thing to do,” said Cornell. “I wasn't sure if anything would come from it, that wasn't what I was thinking. Deposits from businesses and stuff, so that could have trickled down to a lot of people's jobs, who knows what so I just figured it was the right thing to do.”
Cornell has been living in a rehabilitation center for the past four months, getting help for a meth addiction. He is set to leave the facility in July, and it’s pretty clear that he’s learned a lot since getting into recovery.
Virginia Cornell, Joe’s wife, says she and her husband are extremely grateful for the $5,000 reward and plan to use it to better themselves.
“We are going to use the money to pay off my rent and pay off my truck so we can get out of the hole,” she said. “This is like a new start for us. Anyone that needs an honest man to hire, we know that he's an honest man. He just gave back $125,000 that wasn't his.”
Since the story first made the news, Cornell says people have stopped by the rehab facility to give him donations.
“Sometimes it felt like I felt like 'why do I want to be here?' But I'm here for a reason,” said Cornell. “I'm finding that God is the reason I'm here. He's got a higher purpose for me. I'm just trying to follow his will, and let his will be done and see what happens.”