Catch up with the Michigan man who found $ 43,000 in an old couch and returned it
OVID, MI – Howard Kirby is grateful for all the good things that happened to him in 2020 after he returned $ 43,000 which he found hidden in a used sofa he bought. But Ovid’s man says his gratitude mingles with grief after a difficult year for him.
Kirby gained notoriety in January when he returned the money to a family who donated their relative’s furniture to a Habitat for Humanity store, without realizing the fortune inside. Kirby said he chose to do the right thing despite the fact that his own house needed a new roof and new flooring.
Kirby’s story grabbed international headlines as a symbol of honesty and kindness. In response, some decided to do Kirby a bit of kindness. Thanks to money, labor and materials donated by strangers, Kirby got his new roof and new flooring. His house still needs work in some places, he said, but donations have taken care of everything urgent.
“I have been tremendously blessed because of this,” Kirby said. “I have my valleys, that’s for sure. The people who came to help me and stuff, it really helped me realize that there are still some great people out there.
Over $ 15,000 raised in a GoFundMe campaign to support Kirby is linked to Canada due to pandemic restrictions, although the founder of the fundraiser, who lives in Ontario, plans to drive her to Kirby as soon as possible, he said. This money will probably be enough to finish paying for Kirby’s Ovid house, where he now lives alone with a few cats. He spoke to MLive / The Saginaw News in December from the second-hand sofa in his basement, the pillow that once held money in the room.
“It really restored my feelings towards humanity itself,” Kirby said of the wave of kindness he felt. “The world, there are so many good people out there, no matter what they believe. There are a lot of bad people, and the evil in the world appears and we remember the evil a lot more than (when) anything. that’s fine happened, but I’m glad I encouraged so many people … it makes me feel good because I was able to show how I believe in Christ, and that’s what Jesus would do.
Kirby’s son, Ben, got on his feet, and Ben’s wife Diane, who first found the money in the pillow on Kirby’s sofa, was living with him at the time as he had no job. Despite losing two months of work due to the pandemic, they were able to save enough from Ben’s new job to put down a down payment on a house nearby, Kirby said.
“I am very proud of my son,” Kirby said. “I had a lot of tough times this year because of death and everything… I always look at the green side of the grass. I have a new grand-baby and children who love me so much. I am more than happy.
Kirby was fortunate to have her eleventh grandchild this month, a baby girl, he said. But he has also lost family: he is openly moved when he discusses the deaths of three of his siblings in the past year. In January, he opened up about the loss of a close cousin and a difficult divorce in recent memory. He had a kidney removed and a fear of cancer. Despite all these trials, Kirby will tell you that he is blessed beyond belief. The kindness he has seen keeps him focused and helps him through the tough times.
“I have been blessed,” Kirby said. “There were a lot of things that happened that I wish I had never done, but then it’s part of life. I don’t get discouraged, and when I do, I think back to what happened then. I didn’t expect all of this to happen … It has been a difficult and wonderful year.
Almost a year after his act, Kirby is once again focusing on helping others. After the death of one of his sisters this year, he felt called to take charge of his outreach mission and to help move donated goods to those in need. Right now, he is struggling to get to grips with running the nonprofit and spending time with his family, many of whom live no further than Owosso.
“I have a roof over my head, I have food, I have clothes, I have a loving family, I am just blessed,” Kirby said. “I feel lonely here every now and then now that my son and daughter are gone, but if I’m really too bad I can just walk there or go to my daughter’s house… Like in the old movie it’s a wonderful life. “