You might already know that certain thrift stores and organizations like Goodwill that accept all kinds of donations – ranging from textiles to electronics to vehicles. But what if we tell you there’s more to the story?

Well, some people have a weird obsession with donating the most bizarre stuff ever. 

A user recently asked, People who have worked at Goodwill or other thrift stores, etc., and processed donations, what’s the craziest thing you’ve found? And boy, do we have some crazy stories! 



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“I found 125 dollars in the front pocket of a kid’s coat! It had to be like 3-4 y.o. The next day I found more money in another jacket!” Said one. 

“Maybe a mom hid the money in an outgrown coat, then forgot about it! I hide money in weird places sometimes! And forget where I put it!!” Another added. 


Someone’s “Mom”

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“About ten years ago, I worked at a chain thrift store; one morning we got a phone call from this gentleman saying, rather calmly, “I think I accidentally donated my mom”; naturally, I had no clue what he meant. Turns out the guy donated his mom’s ashes so he left his number in case we found it. 

The whole back room went on a hunt because it had turned into this competition on who would find his mom first. We found her, phoned him, and he came and picked her up. We thought that was the last of him until we were processing some donations a few months later and found his mom again. We phoned him because we still had his contact information, and his only reply was “god damn it,” he came and got her, and we never heard from him after that.”


Pictures & Documents Of A World War II Veteran

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“I do not work at a Goodwill, but I found the DD-214 discharge papers of a World War II veteran at a thrift store, along with original family photos, documents, and letters. 

I was distraught, having recently handled so much paperwork around the death of my grandfather. I knew exactly what I was looking at when I saw the DD-214.  I bought all the documents I could handle and started googling the man’s name. I tracked down his adult daughter, who owned a small business with her husband. I found the email address of the small business and sent her what must have been an alarming email, although I was as cordial as I possibly could be. 

She got back to me almost immediately. It turned out he had remarried after the marriage to her mother ended. His new wife and her two sons pretty much took over the man’s life, and the daughter saw very little of her father. At the end of his life, they took charge of all of his possessions and cleared out his house without having told her anything. Even though the second wife had died and the two sons were not technically blood. She was very angered and upset by this at the time, understandably.

I told her she must be the little girl in the baby pictures I had found and I would be glad to send her all these materials. I shipped them out to her via FedEx with tracking, and she was so deeply moved. She didn’t have any baby pictures with her father.

I don’t know if I’ve ever done anything good in my life; I’m sure I have. But I know I did a good thing that week. Internet research skills + compassion for the win.”


A Living Hamster 

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“Not me, but an acquaintance from high school found a live hamster, came with a little cage and all.” Said one. 

“My boyfriend repoed a couch with a kitten in it once.” Another replied. 


Animal Skin Rugs

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“My mum works in one. I asked her if she could watch for any skin rugs. The next day she called me. They had goat skin donated.” Said one 

“My brother-in-law worked at Goodwill. Somebody donated a GIRAFFE SKIN RUG! Like with the head still on and everything. Where would you even put that? A hallway?” Another added. 


Hand grenade

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“Co-worker found a live hand grenade. The bomb squad was called. Be careful when you donate Grandpa’s stuff, people.” Said one. 

“The workers at my local goodwill probably would’ve pulled the pin and thrown it in the dumpster out back.” Another added. 


A Hidden WW1 Photo

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“I found a hidden WW1 photo. 

Got in a picture showing the different knots, it was a seaside town I was working in at the time, so I put the picture out cheap. A few days later, it fell off the wall, and the frame broke so I brought it to the back to chuck it out. Found a big military group photo hidden behind. 

No idea why it was hidden.”


Enigma Machine 

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“Not me but my aunt.

One of the few surviving Enigma machines. The owner passed away, and his family dropped it off with a box of newspapers and some memorabilia from the war. My aunt, being a history nut, figured out what it was, got it appraised (worth almost £100k), and looked for the family for five months before being able to return it to them. She didn’t have the heart to take it under pretenses”


Weird Stuff, Including A DEAD BAT

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“A dead bat, a switchblade, a pocket watch painted with radium, and an 18th-century wolf trap. I ALMOST FORGOT A LATE 1800s BOOK ON PHRENOLOGY. It was the mummified remains of a bat at the bottom of a plastic bag filled with old  . . . . I want to say varnish supplies. Needless to say, it’s the bat I remember best.” 


Cooked Spaghetti 

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“Great big plastic shopping bag full of cooked spaghetti. No sauce. Probably like 5kg or so.” Said one. 

“What? Like, who says to themselves, “ huh made too much spaghetti I guess I’ll just donate it to a thrift store?” That is seriously weird!” Another added. 


Weed & Dead Rats

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“I worked for a Goodwill program that hired developmentally disabled adults. My job was to assist the clients as they processed donations. We found things like a bowl and bag of weed in a coat pocket and a shirt that said, “I’m not an alcoholic; I just go to AA to get chicks” (somehow, that one sustained a tear and had to be trashed), and, worst of all, a garbage bag full of dead rats.”


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