Accidental Goodwill donation makes its way back to owner

Accidental Goodwill donation makes its way back to owner

When you shop at Goodwill you never know what you’re going to find. No one knows that better than frequent shopper Molly Szymkowski.

“I just come in here and I’m kind of on a mission to find some great stuff,” Szymkowski said.

When she purchased a small blue box last Monday she got a whole lot more than she bargained for.

“I didn’t realize it until I got home but there was paper in the bottom of it, so when I took the paper out of it there was actually a flash drive in the bottom,” she explained.

The flash drive was filled with hundreds of somebody else’s family photos.

“It looked like they were at a party, vacations, holidays,” Szymkowski said.

Szymkowski logged on to Facebook and posted about the flash drive on the page “Madison Area Garage Sale.” Within minutes someone recognized the family.

“I did have a comment on there that Facebook is kind of faster than the FBI,” Szymkowski said.

Mike Masino, the information security program director at Madison College said this is an opportunity to remind people to encrypt their flash drives just in case sensitive information is on it.

“If it’s encrypted it will work exactly the same way as you’re used to it working,” Masino explained. “The only difference is that you’re not going to be going to recover those documents off of it, it’s just going to look like a blank drive if somebody else finds it.”

For Szymkowski though, it’s a lesson that if you do something good, like donate, a good deed might be right around the corner.

“It would’ve devastated me if I would’ve lost something like that,” Szymkowski said.

Szymkowski is planning to deliver the flash drive back to the family next week when they come back from vacation.

A Goodwill spokesperson said if you accidentally donate something you can probably track it down since all donations stay local.