A homeless Washington state man has been honoured, after donating more than $22,000 in cash he found outside a food bank.
Russell Carver, a volunteer at the Sumner Community Food Bank, says a man was waiting for the food bank’s doors to open in August.
“He said somebody left this donation for the food bank, and we were just shocked,” Carver told NBC. “We just couldn’t believe how much money was in there.”
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Sumner Police Deputy Chief Jeff Engel confirmed that exactly $17,000 USD (approx. $22,500 CDN) was in a bag, immediately raising officers suspicions.
“We had those thoughts go through our head,” Engel said. “It could be tied to a theft. It could belong to someone. It could be a simple donation. We just don’t know.”
Officers observed surveillance video, according to Engel, and immediately identified the homeless man as Kevin Booth, a familiar face who has been homeless for seven years. Engel explained that Booth has been spotted at the food bank in the past and could have used the money.
“He said the community could use it more than I could,” Engel recalled. “Spread it out to help a lot more people.”
The money was given to the food bank after police waited 90 days for someone to make a claim of ownership.
The News Tribune reports Sumner Police Chief Brad Moericke on Thursday presented Booth with a citizen’s citation.
The food bank’s director, Anita Miller, says she gave Booth part of the money in gift cards, while another portion will go towards facility expansion.
“We are going to get a walk-in freezer, which is going to be great,” Miller said.
— with files from The Associated Press