This story from Burlington, KY should make everyone a little more cautious about throwing stuff away.
The bin had been sitting at Blue Grass Recycling in Burlington for months, maybe even years, before Mike Rodgers started hand sorting the contents, looking for recyclable materials.
As he looked in the bottom, Rodgers noticed some unusual pieces of paper.
“I wasn’t sure what it was,” Rodgers said. “At first it kind of looked like money.”
The papers turned out to be 23 U.S. Savings Bonds in denominations ranging from $50 to $500.
Rodgers, 46, researched the bonds online and determined they were unredeemed and still valid.
Not only had the bonds matured since they had been purchased in 1971, they had earned quite a bit of interest and were now worth $22,000.
“I have to admit, that surprised me a little bit,” he said.
It took about a week of online research for Rodgers to find the son of the deceased Northern Kentucky woman who had originally purchased the bonds. And that search resulted in a Christmas surprise for a Florida man.
Robert Roberts, the son of Martha Dobbins, had no idea his mother had accumulated the bonds.
“I was totally surprised,” Roberts said. “I had taken care of my mother for several years before she died and she never mentioned anything about any bonds.”
Speaking by phone from his home, Roberts admits he was puzzled when he got the call.
“I told him that we had lived in Fort Wright and the day my mother had passed and I heard someone, who I found out later was Lisa scream ‘yes’ in the background. That’s when he told me about the bonds.”
The bonds were shipped out Friday and Roberts received them Saturday afternoon.
Guy Witte, owner of Blue Grass Recycling, said Rodgers went above and beyond to track Roberts down.
“He deserves all of the credit for this,” Witte said. “He did this at home on his own time.”
It’s not clear exactly how the bonds wound up in the container, but most likely the person who bought Martha Dobbins’ home dumped them in with scraps that ultimately wound up at the recycling center.
Roberts, who is 82, said he tried to compensate Rodgers, but Rodgers turned him down.
To read the complete article, see:
Recycling bin yields Christmas surprise
Wayne Homren, Editor
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