Michigan man Howard Kirby was down on his luck. His house was falling apart, his wife had left him, and he was experiencing some health issues.
Even so, Howard would soon discover that his old and uncomfortable couch held a deep secret, one that was going to bring him some much-needed luck.
A Seemingly Normal Man From Michigan
Howard Kirby was a seemingly normal man living in Ovid, Michigan. Once a floor maintenance worker for Walmart, Howard was now retired and enjoying a quiet life.
But appearances can be deceiving, and people would soon realize that Howard's laid-back persona was a bit of a front for what was really happening behind closed doors.
Down On His Luck
Not only had Howard's wife left him in a divorce, but one of his cousins, someone he was very close to, had recently passed away. He was very down on his luck, and, sadly, it was just the beginning.
Soon, Howard was going to learn that he had some serious health issues.
Howard Learned Of A Major Health Issue
At the doctor's office, Howard learned he had a sizable tumor in his kidney. Thankfully, the surgery to remove the tumor went off without a hitch, and Howard was in the clear of any signs of cancerous cells.
Even when his health issues were out of the way, something else was right around the corner.
His Son And Daughter-In-Law Came To Live With Him
Howard was a devoted family man, having six cats and a dog to take care of around the house.
When his oldest son, Ben, lost his job, Howard didn't think twice about letting him and his wife, Diane, stay with him for as long as they needed to get back on their feet.
It Was Time For A Man Cave
Adding two more people to his home was a definite change for Howard. He was used to having a lot of space, and now it was crowded. That's when he decided it was time for a change.
He was going to create a man cave for himself, a space that he could use to get away and relax.
A New Couch Was Too Expensive
While a man cave sounded like a good idea, there was one major issue: funds. With so many people in the house and no one working, the family was struggling to make ends meet.
Thankfully, Howard knew there were some stores around town where he could find some furniture for a discounted price.
The Answer: A Thrift Store
Howard knew there was no way he could purchase a new couch; they were very expensive, and he was taking care of his son and daughter-in-law. It didn't matter, though.
He knew of a thrift store in town, and he was sure there would be a couch there that would be perfect for his man cave.
He Found The Perfect Couch
Howard got in his car and drove ten miles to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Owosso. Browsing the thrift store, a couch finally caught Howard's eye. It was a sofa with a matching chair, complete with an old-school war theme of flowers and cannons.
While it was definitely used, it held a certain charm Howard couldn't pass up.
Something Was Definitely Wrong
Little did Howard know that the couch he purchased from the Habitat for Humanity store would bring his luck right back up. First, he had to get it home. So, Howard bought the couch, excited to furnish his man cave.
About a week later, he couldn't help but notice something didn't feel right with one of the cushions -- it was a lot stiffer than the others.
Diane Unzipped The Cushion
Howard went to Ben and Diane, telling them something was definitely wrong with the sofa he'd just purchased. One of the cushions was vastly uncomfortable. Investigating the issue, Diane noticed something was different about the one cushion.
Taking the cushion, Diane prepped to open the zipper. What she found inside left her beyond shocked.
There Were Stacks Of Money!
Unzipping the cushion, Diane was at a loss for words. When she finally found her voice, the only thing that came out was "Dad, money!". Howard and Ben didn't understand what she was talking about.
That is, they didn't understand until they looked over her shoulder and found stacks of bills hidden inside the cushion.
Was It Fake?
At first, the family of three thought the money was fake. Who would leave stacks of bills inside a couch? They honestly thought it was nothing more than Monopoly money. Then, they got a closer look.
There was no doubt in their mind that the money was real. They wasted no time counting it up.
The Total: $43,170
After Howard, Ben, and Diane counted the hidden money, they couldn't believe the sum. They'd stumbled upon a fortune of $43,170! Once they calmed down and composed themselves, the three stopped and had one question on their minds: where on earth did the money actually come from?
It was a question Howard needed to be answered.
Howard Wanted To Speak To A Lawyer
Before doing anything with the money, Howard knew he needed to take it to someone to ensure his family was legally safe from any repercussions. After speaking to a lawyer, Howard was in the clear.
The lawyer said the family had no legal obligation to remove the couch or the money they found hidden within the cushion. Still, Howard didn't feel right about keeping the money he didn't earn.
The Money Could Be Very Useful
Howard took a moment, thinking about everything he could do with his money (it would solve many problems). His roof was falling apart, and he could pay off his house.
Still, he didn't feel right about using the money and felt obligated to return it to its rightful owner.
He Wasn't Going To Keep A Cent
During an interview with MLive, Howard explained his decision, saying, "The Holy Spirit just came over me and said, 'No, that's really not yours. Being a born-again Christian, Christ in me is the one that actually gave the money back."
Howard then contacted the thrift store, thinking that they might have the couch's original owner's name on file. He was right!
The True Owner Of The Money: Kim Fauth-Newberry
Kim Fauth-Newberry sold the couch to Habitat for Humanity after her grandfather passed away, having no idea he'd hid money within one of the cushions. Imagine her surprise when she got a phone call from the store, explaining what Howard had found!
The store made arrangements for Howard and Kim to meet. Needless to say, Kim and her family were astounded by Howard's selfless act of kindness.
The Selfless Act Didn't Go Unnoticed
Howard's selfless act eventually made its way to a man named John, the branch manager for a building company called Eikenhout Saginaw. To reward Howard for being so selfless, John and his team decided to fix his roof, free of charge!
John wasn't the only one who recognized Howard's good deed.
A GoFundMe Raised Over $15,000
Jay Tyrrell, a man from Ontario, learned of Howard over the news and quickly became inspired by his story, wanting to help. He started a GoFundMe for Howard and his family, a fundraiser that resulted in over $15,000!
Speaking of Howard, Jay said, "It shows that there are still good people out there."
Howard Feels Truly Blessed
Soon after finding the money in the couch cushion, Howard and his son's lives changed. Ben was able to find a job, allowing him and Diane to purchase a house for themselves, not too far away from his father.
Howard also took over his late sister's outreach program, delivering food and goods to those in need. During an interview with MLive, Howard said, "I've got a roof over my head, I got food, I got clothing, I got a loving family. I am just blessed."