Finders keepers is not always the best way to approach a situation, but it’s usually the school of thought used when people benefit from the misfortune of others who have dropped some money.
Any college student would agree that a few dropped dollars are difficult to pass up, but almost $600 – that’s a different story.
Almost four weeks ago, Lauren Carter, senior from Louisville, Ky., was faced with this dilemma when she found a bank envelope of money in the parking lot of Faculty Hall.
In the bank envelope, Carter found a receipt with a savings account number and $575 in cash.
She decided to call her mother to ask for advice on what her next step should be, she said.
She said he mother told her to go somewhere privately and count the money. From there, she should decide what to do, she said.
“My first thought was, I should pocket this,” Carter said. “Just like any other college student, I am hard on cash.”
But Carter’s conscience got the better of her.
Instead, she went to the Multicultural Center in the Curris Center where she works and attempted to track down the owner of the lost money, she said.
“If it were me, I would want someone to do me the same courtesy and return it,” Lauren said.
Carter said she first called the bank and was connected to the Princeton, Ky., branch. The savings account number that she read to them from the receipt was discovered to be an account held in Ballard County, Ky., she said. After that, the bank contacted the branch where a teller remembered performing a transaction of that amount.
The Ballard County branch called Murray State faculty member, Peggy Meriedeth, a lecturer in the health sciences and human services department.
Meriedeth was completely unaware that she had lost her money and was grateful to receive the call, she said.
“I was extremely lucky, and I am very thankful for Lauren finding me,” she said.
Meriedeth had cashed a travel advance check for a work-related trip and a couple personal checks that morning and had intended to lock it in her glove compartment, she said.
The bank envelope had no identifying information except a receipt with her savings account number on it so Lauren went that extra mile in her search, she said.
Merideth said the money must have fallen out of the car because of where Lauren found it.
Meredith was able to go immediately to the Curris Center and pick up the money from Lauren in the Multicultural Center. She gave Carter a $25 reward for her efforts, she said.
“As an alumna and faculty member, I am very proud to know that we have that caliber of student to take the extra effort to try and return anything,” she said. “This speaks very highly.”
Lauren was contacted by the black faculty and staff organization to attend one of their meetings to be honored with a certificate of achievement the last week in September.