NEW YORK (MainStreet) When recovering addict Joe Cornell found a heavy sack of cash, he didn't think twice about returning it mainly because he wants his grand children to be proud of him.
Still, it was a feat of extreme morals for Cornell, who reportedly lives on $1 a day for lunch. He was volunteering at the Salvation Army on Ventura Avenue in Fresno, Calif. when in broad daylight a bag filled with an estimated $125,000 flew off an armed Brinks truck and landed on the street at his feet like a gift.
The father of two has only two months to go before completing the Salvation Army's substance abuse rehabilitation program and speculates the money bag fell off the truck as it crossed the nearby railroad tracks.
"I'm trying to finally clean it up," Cornell said of his addiction. "I've been battling this for a long time."
Cornell hauled the broom, garbage pail and money bag back to the trailer he uses to coordinate maintenance chores that are part of his rehabilitation.
"I started crying and shaking," Cornell told reporters of his experience. "Everything was going through my mind -- the good devil/bad devil thing. What to do? I have a grandbaby due any time, my fourth."
Cornell subsequently contacted his supervisor about the stash of cash.
"It was the right thing to do," Cornell explained.
Cornell's honesty isn't going unrewarded. Brinks officials say they'll give Cornell a $5,000 reward and will also donate $5,000 in Cornell's name to the local Salvation Army.
Although the 52-year-old hasn't received his reward yet, the good samaritan has faith that the guilt-free stash of money is on the way.
--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet