Howard Kirby of Ovid, Michigan, has had a lot of ups and downs in recent years. When he talks about the loss of three of his siblings, he gets teary-eyed. He spoke about the tragic loss of a close cousin and a rough divorce. A kidney was removed, and he’s also had a cancer scare. Despite his difficulties, Kirby will tell you that he is incredibly blessed. The kindness in him helps him stay focused and get through the difficult times.
“I’ve been blessed,” Kirby said. “There’s been a lot of things that happened that I wish never did, but then, that’s a part of life. I don’t get discouraged, and when I do, I look back at what happened at that time. I never expected any of this to happen … It’s been a difficult and a wonderful year.”
Kirby purchased a set of furniture from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Owosso for $70. After a few weeks with the couch in his “man cave,” he began to notice something was wrong.
“The foot cushion always seemed kind of hard,” Kirby said.
When his daughter-in-law finally opened the cushion, she was stunned to discover a box holding $43,170 cash once they counted it up.
Instead of enjoying and spending the money on essentials and home repairs, Howard knew what he needed to do right away.
“The Holy Spirit just came over me and said, ‘No, that’s really not yours,’” Kirby said. “Being a born-again Christian, Christ in me is the one that actually gave the money back. Remember the bracelets, WWJD? Well, that’s what Jesus would do.”
Howard was able to return the money to its rightful owner with the help of the thrift store employees.
Howard was taken out to dinner by the family that donated the couch. They expressed their gratitude and wanted to do something to reward him for his kindness. The sincere man was taken aback.
“There is so much thankfulness, it boggles my mind sometimes what is happening for me,” Kirby said. “I’m just amazed by it.”
Kirby said he’s trying not to “get a big head” over the situation, emphasizing that all credit goes to Christ.
It didn’t take long for news of Howard’s honesty to spread, and people rushed to help the man, who was in need of money.
John Conversa is the branch manager at Eikenhout Saginaw, Eikenhout’s owners are faith-based and like assisting people when it’s warranted. When they heard Kirby’s story, they wanted to help him solve his problems as a way of thanking him for his honesty, he said. Therefore, he offered to help cover some needs such as roof repairs.
“We’re not doing it so much for a PR thing, we want to promote these kind of actions that he did,” Conversa said. “There’s not very many people nowadays who are upstanding like that. It’s a good thing for our employees to see that.”
Ancaster, Ontario resident, Jay Tyrrell decided to help Howard as well. He explained to MLive why he chose to launch a GoFundMe fundraiser:
“It shows that there’s still good people out there. It’s been very inspiring. I hope that his actions will have other people kind of look at their own lives and think about how they can be better members of society.”
He has since raised more than $2,200 for Howard.
“I don’t know how to say it, I’m blessed. I’m blessed beyond words. I have had so much peace, so much joy because I did do it, that $43,000 never could buy that much joy or peace or happiness.”
Take a look at the video below and be inspired by this man’s honesty!