A DISTRAUGHT grandmother says she is $25,000 out of pocket after cushions she used to store the cash in were mistakenly donated to charity.
The cushions and some other items were dropped off at the Salvation Army store in South Fremantle following a home clear out in May.
When the North Coogee resident (76), who asked the Gazette not reveal her name, realised her mistake a couple of weeks later she returned to the store.
By then the cushions had been sold.
“I’ve got a little bit of money in the bank which I use to pay my bills but this money was my security to help my kids if they needed anything desperately,” she said.
“I never ever touched it. It was there more like an inheritance really.”
The woman, originally from the UK, had kept the stash in two pale printed cushions for more than a year.
She said keeping a portion of her money out of the bank was something she had done since the global economic crisis.
The accident was another sad chapter in her recent past, with her husband and close aunt both dying in the last six years.
She said she was desperate to see the money returned to police or the Salvos store.
“I’m just hoping someone will look at the cushion, see the money and be honest and let me have it back,” she said.
Because the majority of the cash was in $100 bills, the woman said it was largely unnoticeable when placed in the cushions.
It slipped her mind when she donated to the Hampton Road branch and went undetected by Salvos staff.
A Salvos spokeswoman said staff and volunteers quality check donations to ensure they are in a sellable condition before they are placed on the shop floor.
“The store at which the cushions were donated receives lots of generous donations and therefore regularly distributes excess items to other stores within Western Australia,” she said.
“The store manager has been in touch with all stores in Western Australia advising them of the wrongly donated item and asked the store teams to keep an eye out for any similar donations.
“All store teams have been briefed and are being diligent whilst sorting donated cushions.
“We hope that the money can be returned in full to this woman and urge anyone who has purchased cushions from Salvos stores with a sum of money inside to come forward and return (it) to the owner.”
A reward is being offered to see the money returned to the woman.