Girl returns $1,000 found at thrift store

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by Daniel de Castro –

Mikela Mercier

Mikela Mercier, 11, was shopping with her mother at the Kona Salvation Army Family Store in late October when she found several $100 bills stuck inside the cardboard jacket of a Richard Simmons exercise videotape. Realizing this must have been a mistake, she went straight to the store manager and turned in the cash.

“When I discovered the money, I immediately looked for my mom and told her, ‘we’ve got to give it to the man,’” said Mikela. The sixth grader at Ke Kula ‘O ‘Ehunui Kaimalino Hawaiian Immersion School found the manager and handed him a bundle of cash totaling $1,000.

“It’s remarkable how a young girl like Mikela instinctively knew the right thing to do. I truly admire her honesty,” said Jimmy Thennes, manager at The Salvation Army store.

Mikela’s mother, Jodi Mercier said that she is very proud of her daughter. She said that Mikela, who had “chicken skin” after finding so much cash, knew that the money rightfully belonged to The Salvation Army so that they could help people in need.

As a small token of appreciation, The Salvation Army offered the Mikela a gift certificate that she can use the next time she goes shopping at the thrift store.

The money will be used to help feed an estimated 500 people who attend the annual Thanksgiving feast in Kailua-Kona. This year’s feast, on Nov. 27, will be at Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill, which has donated its space, cooking and services.

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