Deployed husband’s gift accidentally donated

If you love a story with a happy ending, this one is for you!

Molly Cook, customer experience team leader at the Oshkosh Retail Store and Training Center, received a frantic phone call on a May evening from a woman, who said she was in the middle of a move and her jewelry box had been donated to that Goodwill by mistake.

“She began to cry and explained that it wasn’t the jewelry box itself, but she had put a necklace from her husband in the box and it was the last thing he had bought her before he was deployed overseas,” Molly said.

Molly also received a call from the soldier’s mom, who was just as upset and crying. She understood the importance of finding the special necklace.

Locating this donation posed an added challenge because donations are sorted immediately, and, in this case, the jewelry would have been sent to the ecommerce team at the Goodwill Shiner Center in Appleton and the jewelry box would have been priced and put on the store floor.

Molly acted quickly to catch the crew that already had left for the day by emailing the entire team and then talking to team members first thing the next morning.

When store team leader Jessica Kostuck heard about the donor’s situation, she remembered putting a jewelry box next to a pricing station and took off to look for it.

And there it was — the necklace still inside!

“This was definitely one of my favorite moments here at Goodwill,” said Molly, adding that the grateful woman stopped in a week later with a thank you card for the team. “I was amazed we found this donation with how many donations Oshkosh gets on the weekend! So happy it worked out the way it did.”

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that believes in Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. Goodwill NCW is one of four companies in the nation to be honored with a Platinum Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of America, which recognizes our commitment to wellness in the workplace. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at, a women’s apparel website, and It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit

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