This busboy facing hard times turned in $3,000 he found. Here's why he's about to get $26,000 instead

Johnny Duckworth's money burdens make his life tough, but now he's the recipient of thousands in donations because of a kind act.
Dec 28, 2015

5,821 views   |   616 shares
  • When a diner customer dropped $3,000 on the floor and left, a man who could use it most found the stash.

  • That's Johnny Duckworth, a busboy at Randy's Southside Diner in Grand Junction, Colorado — someone, as Lisa Flam detailed for Today.com, who could use an abandoned heap of cash.

  • "Duckworth, who works 25 hours a week (and more if the work is available), has fallen on hard times," according to Today. "He lost the trailer where he lived about three years ago, and money is garnished from his paychecks for medical bills. … At night, he stays with friends or family, sometimes biking to work in the cold and snow rather than asking for a ride."

  • Still, Duckworth returned the money to his boss, and the diner tracked it to Darrell Cox, a regular at the establishment who accidentally left it behind, CBS News reported.

  • Cox tipped Duckworth $300 for the deed, telling the news outlet Duckworth's actions showed a bit of humanity during the holiday season, CBS News reported.

  • "It makes me feel a lot better about people, knowing there are a lot of honest people out there," Cox told CBS News.

  • Duckworth's boss, Randy Emmons, made sure the do-gooder's deed wasn't forgotten by helping him "reap a fat crowd-funded reward," Clint Rainey wrote for Grub Street that. Emmons put up a GoFundMe on Friday, encouraging people to donate to Duckworth — whose nickname is Thumper.

  • "Thumper is a great guy. He would give his last dollar out of his pocket to anyone that needed it, even though he doesn't have much himself. What an honest guy, finds $3,000 cash on the floor with no witnesses and turns it in. That's the kind of employee I wish all of my employees were. We are trying to raise money for Thumper to help them out through his hard times. His car has broken down and he lives house to house with friends and family. He doesn't have enough money to get into his own house because of the doctor bills he's acquired that garnish his paycheck every week. … This is a good guy who works very hard and that has truly fallen onto hard times," the GoFundMe page read.

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  • And people took Emmons up on it, donating more than $26,000 as of this writing, with many citing Duckworth's honesty.

  • Duckworth said he never considered keeping the money, Daily Mail reported.

  • After all, he said, "I work for a living."

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Payton Davis is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

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