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Imagine the excitement of a man who just closed on his very first home. Then, imagine how excited that same man would be if he found almost $45,000 in cash hidden inside. Now, imagine that man giving all the money to its rightful owner.

If that man is Josh Ferrin, there’s no imagination necessary.

After picking up the keys to his newly purchased home, Mr. Ferrin drove out to Bountiful, a suburb of Salt Lake City, to start the moving process. Little did he know how “bountiful” his new home would be for he and his family.

As he walked into the garage, a piece of cloth hanging from the attic door captured his attention. He carefully opened the hatch, climbed up the ladder, and saw what appeared to be a World War II ammunition box. When Ferrin opened the metal container, he “freaked out” (to use his words).

Inside was several thousand dollars. He immediately called his wife to notify her of their windfall. But then, after hanging up with her, he found seven more boxes, each containing about $5,000 apiece. In all, there was well over $40,000 in cash hidden in the attic!

Ferrin, an artist for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, took the cash to his parents’ home to count it all. He began to think about all the things a large sum of money meant to his family. But those thoughts were immediately interrupted by his conscience.  

“I’m not perfect, and I wish I could say there was never any doubt in my mind. We knew we had to give it back, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t think about our car in need of repairs, how we would love to adopt a child and aren’t able to do that right now, or fix up our outdated house that we just bought. But the money wasn’t ours to keep and I don’t believe you get a chance very often to do something radically honest, to do something ridiculously awesome for someone else and that is a lesson I hope to teach to my children.”

There was only one thing to do. Remembering the home’s previous owner who had recently died, Ferrin picked up the phone and called one of the sons of Arnold Bangerter, the man who’d lived in the house from 1966 to 2010.

Kay Bangerter said he knew his father had hidden money throughout the house because he once found a bundle of cash taped beneath a drawer. But he never imagined that his dad was able to put away so much over the years. The younger Bangerter said the money’s return was “a story that will outlast our generation and probably yours as well.”

Those kinds of stories can only be told when integrity is displayed.

Click here for the online report.

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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)