Many of us have stories about old couches, especially ones we were in college or shortly thereafter. But so few tales are the three roommates in New Paltz, New York, that they can now tell.

Reese Werkhoven, Callie Guasti, and Lara Russo were looking for a new sofa for their tiny New York apartment. Unfortunately, most of the sofas they found were too big for their living room.

Finally, they found the right size sofa at The Salvation Army. They received it and only paid $20 for the sofa.

The ugly uncomfortable sofa arrived and sat there for a few months in the small apartment, until the roommates smelled something strange in the pillows and decided to find out why they were lumpy.

They looked under the armrest of the sofa and found an envelope containing $700!

They kept finding more envelopes on the couch, withdrawing money like a lined ATM. Between them, they had $40,000 in cash!

The discovery was a dream come true for the three friends, all of whom are either in college or recent graduates.

While they were counting the money, they talked about what they could do with it; Werkhoven says he wanted to buy a new car for his mother. But then they discover a name among the envelopes and realize they face a moral puzzle.

While trying to figure out what to do with the money, they noticed a woman’s name on one of the envelopes. A phone number led them to the family who donated the sofa – and answers why it was full of money.

When they called the number, the woman on the other end of the phone told them the money was her and her husband’s savings. They kept the money on the sofa for 30 years, but her husband died.

She slept on the sofa for years. But recent back problems have caused her daughter and daughter-in-law to replace the bed with a bed, which means the sofa has had to go.

The trio said they don’t regret doing the right thing. In fact, they hope to dine with the family to which they have returned the money.

As a reward, the elderly woman gave her roommates $1,000.

Are you proud of these students for giving them back the money? So share it!  

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