If you found $125,000, would you give it back? (- Getty Images)
If you found $125,000, would you give it back?

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A Salvation Army worker in California is being rewarded for his decision to return a bag containing $125,000 that fell from an armored truck.

Joe Cornell told The Fresno Bee that he found the cash Tuesday after a Brinks truck pulled away from a red light in Fresno and left the sack behind.

"I started crying and shaking," Cornell said. "Everything was going through my mind the good devil/bad devil thing. What to do?"

Thoughts of the imminent arrival of his fourth grandchild soon helped him decide.

"I thought, 'What would I want her to think of me?' That made up my mind right there," he said. "I got on my radio and called my boss. 'Hey, I found a bag of money.' "

Cornell, 52, is in a Salvation Army substance-abuse rehabilitation program. His duties for the organization include working on donated trailers.

"I went down there carrying the bag like I was Santa Claus," Cornell said.

Brinks spokesman Ed Cunningham said he isn't sure how the truck lost the money, and he called the incident a security issue.

The company will give Cornell a $5,000 reward and make a separate $5,000 donation to the Salvation Army.

Critical thinking challenge: Why did Joe give the money back? Why did Brinks give Joe a reward?

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Assigned 27 times

  • WarrenB-4
    6/02/2014 - 10:36 p.m.

    This article is about a Salvation Army worker who found a bag of money. His name, Joe and he found 175,000$. When he found it, a rush of good and bad ideas went by. He decided to give the bag in because of his fourth grandchild. In return he got 5,000$. There has also been a separate donation to the Salvation Army of 5,000$.
    I think the man made a very smart choice.

  • NicoK-5
    6/02/2014 - 11:12 p.m.

    Mr Ed Cunningham found $125000. A truck dropped it. He picked it up and had so many thoughts. Ed said that his bad and good side were both telling him different things. He was rewarded $5000 for the return of the bag.
    If I found a bag with that kind of money, I don't know what I'd do. I would probably return it, eventually.

  • garrettA-4
    6/02/2014 - 11:56 p.m.

    Joe Cornell, who works for the Salvation Army, found a sack of money from a Brinks security truck with $125,000 in it. He was thinking about what to do...should he keep it? Should he give it back? Joe told the Fresno Bee that he decided to give it back because he is expecting his 4th grandchild and wanted to be good example. The Brinks company will give Joe a $5,000 reward and make a separate donation of $5,000 to the Salvation Army. I think I would give back the money too because you never know if someone out there needs it more than you and i would feel guilty for stealing.

    6/03/2014 - 02:30 p.m.

    Your conscience is going to wear you down with a quality called empathy, usually people understand how crucial something is when they see it happening to them. When Joe gave the money back it was probably his conscience telling him to be empathetic . The brink gave Joe an award because they probably couldn't believe there was a person with such stewardship.

  • 9GretaK
    6/03/2014 - 04:55 p.m.

    Joe Cornell is a 52 year old Salvation Army worker who lives in California. On Tuesday while he was at a stoplight in Fresno he happened to be behind a Brink' s bank trunk. Once the trunk pulled away he saw a sack laying on the ground that fell out. He soon found out it was money. He didn't know what to do. He soon thought of his granddaughter and did the right thing by taking the money back to the bank. Brinks spokesman thinks the money fell out due to a security issues. For Joe he walks away with a $5,000 prize and a $5,000 donation to the Salvation Army.

  • 9BrookeFJ
    6/03/2014 - 09:00 p.m.

    He probably gave the money back because he felt it was the right thing to do. In others minds they probably would have kept it and thought he was nuts for turning it in. It could have been tracked down and it would've been suspicious to instantly have 125,000 dollars overnight. Brinks gave him a reward because Joe did the right thing and it would have been rude not to give him a reward for turning in the large amount of money.

    6/03/2014 - 10:09 p.m.

    Joe's heart was in the right place that is true, most people now a days would take the money and try to use it in a selfish way. Joe deserves the commemoration and should be proud of it. People know a days know returning the money is the right choice but they do the opposite anyways it a real shame.

  • 2JacobA
    6/04/2014 - 09:51 a.m.

    He did the right thing by returning the money. I feel as if i would have done the same thing. Its a good thing that he got rewarded for his kindness with the $5000 and he should be proud of what he did. I am still a little confused of how the money just fell out of the truck and why it was in there but i would like to learn more. This is a very interesting story.

  • 2AlexL
    6/04/2014 - 09:58 a.m.

    A Salvation Army worker in California found a bag with $125,000 in it. The bag was dropped by an armored truck as it pulled away from a stop light. The worker was confused on what do. They weren't sure whether to keep it or give it back. Then they thought of what their grandchildren would think of them if they didn't return. This thought made them return the bag to the company who lost it. In return the company gave the worker $5,000 and donated another $5,000 to Salvation Army.

    6/04/2014 - 06:42 p.m.

    When someone goes through a situation such as the one Joe went through they have almost an internal battle between their options. It is as if one part of you is telling you to take the money while the other part is telling you no. In this case Joe made his decision by thinking of what his grandchild would think of his actions. Brinks gave Joe an award because by returning the money he was being honest and not many people would do that.

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