msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 11/17/2008 8:19:48 PM ET 2008-11-18T01:19:48

It took some fancy footwork, but a Goodwill store in Illinois has found the owner of $7,500 in cash mistakenly donated with old shoes.

An employee on her first day at the Goodwill store in Glen Carbon discovered the money on Nov. 7. Teodora Petrova, a recent immigrant from Bulgaria, immediately turned over the money to management.

The cash was found in a shoebox, bundled in large denominations.

Goodwill found the family through hints on scraps of paper left in the box. The donor apparently also called the Goodwill office, figuring he was the source of the cash.

The shoes belonged to the man's recently deceased parents. The store said he didn't want to be identified.

The family offered Petrova a gift for turning over the money. The amount of the reward wasn't released.

Goodwill gave Petrova a $500 reward for her honesty. She also got two checks — one for $100 and another for $75 — from private donors, the St. Louis Business Journal reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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