Broke Man Buys Foot Stool For $70, When He looks Inside It He Turns Pale

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It’s not often that we’re handed miracles, but when it happens, how we react reveals everything about our character. This is exactly what happened to Howard Kirby, a lifelong Michigan resident who was rather down on his luck. He came across something that many of us can only dream of, but what he did with it was completely extraordinary.

But what exactly happened to Howard Kirby? What life-defining moment did he share with a total stranger? Standing tall and wearing a long white beard, Howard has the warm inviting presence of a Santa, with none of the “sit on my lap” creepiness. While his relationship status is unknown, one thing is blatantly clear: he loves his kids very much. This includes his grandchildren, to whom he is always an adoring grandfather.

It was a freezing cold Michigan winter, as it is every year up in the Midwest. But Howard Kirby was willing to brave the ice and snow to go furniture shopping at the Habitat for Humanity store. He needed new furniture for his home, but like many Americans, he didn’t have the funds to get something brand new. After all, furniture is incredibly expensive and typically built to last. For Howard Kirby, the times were rough. He was financially strapped, living in a home in need of some major renovations. Kirby really needed a miracle, not just moral support.

He had no idea, however, that in doing something as mundane as picking out a used couch, he would get all the inspiration he needed. At the Habitat for Humanity store, Howard Kirby was faced with a lot of choices. Around Christmas time, the donations came pouring in, with everyone getting in the charitable spirit.

As such, Kirby had the pick of the litter when it came time to decide what to get. He searched around for a while until he came across a couch set that fit the bill. It was only $70 for the whole set, which included a cute little footstool and matching upholstery, which would make sitting back and relaxing at home extra comfortable.

Once Kirby found the right piece of furniture, things started to fall into place. The next hurdle Howard Kirby had to jump was getting the furniture to his place. A couch is not exactly something that fits comfortably into the trunk of an average car, though the footstool definitely could squeeze in.

Luckily, Habitat for Humanity offers the incredible service of furniture delivery at a low cost. Once you buy furniture, it can often be nearly as expensive as the piece itself to get it home. In the case of the nonprofit’s furniture stores, however, volunteers offer to spend their free time moving furniture for people in need. These kind individuals use their own trucks to deliver furniture to people’s homes, no matter how far away from the store they are.

Where did Howard Kirby’s new couch come from, though? Who was ready to give up on such a gently worn couch set? Every piece of furniture has a story, and this piece is no different. One day, a woman made a call that she needed to have Habitat for Humanity come pick up some furniture from her home. Her father had died, and she was left with a house full of items she had no room for.

Kim Fath Newberry was the owner of the furniture, but not because she went out and bought it. Unfortunately, Kim became the owner of the couch set and much, much more when her father passed away. He left the contents of his home to her, and flooded with grief, she didn’t know what to do with them. She didn’t have room in her home for any of the pieces that her father had left her, and while she considered moving everything to storage, it just didn’t make sense.

Howard Kirby and his family could feel that something was off with the couch. They sat in it, and it was comfortable, but what could make a simple stool so uncomfortable? The Kirby family couldn’t understand why a little square piece was so lumpy and awkward. Howard Kirby knew that he couldn’t return the stool. After all, secondhand furniture stores don’t take returns because almost nobody would buy something thirdhand. Kirby’s daughter, not willing to let one simple footstool ruin a nice couch set, decided to inspect the piece. She turned it over in her hands, feeling along the seams.

Then, what she discovered next was about to change their lives. She asked her father if she could rip open the seams, but he was hesitant to let her tear through a crucial part of his new couch set. However, curiosity took over, and Kirby and his daughter simply had to know what was inside the footstool.

Armed with scissors, she began hacking away at the stool, determined to find what was underneath. Carefully stored in stacks underneath the fabric of the footstool were wads and wads of $100 bills. Howard and his daughter were absolutely shocked. They couldn’t believe that the set that cost $70 had contained thousands of dollars this whole time. No wonder why it was so uncomfortable.

Their next step was to count the money to see exactly what they were dealing with. When they finished counting, carefully, which took hours to get their numbers right, they determined that they were sitting on a sum of $43,750. Howard was for real. They went to search through their files to see if they could dig up a name or any contact info for the couch set. After a quick search, they discovered that the couch and footstool had belonged to none other than Kim Fath Newberry.

The Habitat for Humanity staff found Kim’s phone number and agreed to break the unwritten confidentiality agreement to give it to Howard Kirby. Howard called Kim and explained the situation. She was utterly shocked that she had accidentally given away that much money, and even more so that a kind stranger was returning it to her. Howard and Kim made a date to meet at the furniture store for the great exchange.

Kim Fath Newberry and her husband and son showed up to the Habitat for Humanity store, unsure of what to expect. Then Howard Kirby appeared, smiling, carrying a large wad of cash. Newberry was skeptical at first, but all that skepticism went away when she saw Kirby. Howard Kirby was smiling from ear to ear, as happy to give away $43,000 to a perfect stranger as anyone would be to receive that amount of money.

Philip Fouth was Kim’s father and the original owner of the couch set. Kim said that he was famously frugal and careful with money. He didn’t trust any banking institutions, so he would pay in cash for everything. Howard Kirby needed the money, but he chose to act in his image by doing the right thing, being as selfless as humanly possible, no matter how hard it is. His story went viral as news stations all over the country picked up his incredible story.

But it didn’t end there. He got tons of news coverage for his act of kindness, but the real irony was that he really needed someone like him to come to his own rescue. Showing up with a big sum of money to bail him out of his emergency, hearing about Kirby’s incredible story, and then finding out that he was in desperate need of help, a kind stranger named J Tal stepped in. He started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for all the major renovations that Howard Kirby needed around the house, and began spreading the word to get help. The GoFundMe campaign is seeking to raise $155,000 for Howard Kirby so he can fix his roof, rain gutters, a leak in his ceiling,

and a floor that needs refinishing. The campaign raised $111,000 in just a week of being open, since it became publicized. Kind individuals offered to help repair Howard’s roof and rain gutters to their former glory, kind strangers flocking to help a man who became known for his own act of kindness proves that the compassion of humanity knows no bounds.

Though Kirby was grateful for what had happened for him after he returned the $43K, he said his gratitude was mixed with sadness, as he’d had a tough year. 2020 was not kind to any of us, least of all Howard Kirby. The ID man had, like most of us, gone through a lot in 2020, some of which might surprise you. Kirby knew his story had made international headlines, as people loved the way the Michigan man had stuck to his principles, giving back the money he’d found, even though he was struggling at the time. But like Howard Kirby did, we all have to hope that things eventually work out, as they often do.

The GoFundMe campaign raised to help Kirby was tied up in Canada thanks to 2020 restrictions. No GoFundMe, no doubt, wanted to help Kirby get his cash, but things weren’t that simple. GoFundMe has certain laws they have to follow, as frustrating as they might sound. The founder of the fundraiser, who lives in Ontario, Canada, just wanted to help Kirby get back some of the goodness he put out into the world in 2020. He said he planned to drive the money down to Kirby as soon as he could.

That $115,000 was the result of donors’ love of giving, and the fundraiser’s founder knew that the cash would be enough to pay off the man’s home. Happily though, Ben and Diane lost 2 months of work to the events of 2020. Ben was able to get a well-paying new job. The pairs saved up their money carefully, and they were able to put it down payment on a home. Of course, that home was right nearby so they could always see Kirby whenever they wanted to.

Kirby isn’t done helping others, not by a long shot. Nearly a year after his good deed, he felt a renewed focus on becoming a light in a dark world. One of his sisters passed away in 2020, and she left behind a legacy. Before her passing, she was in charge of a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing outreach to those in need. The organization would receive donated goods, and they would then move those goods to people who needed them the most.

This included people who needed food, water, essentials, baby products, personal care products, and more. Not only does Kirby now focus on running his sister’s nonprofit, ensuring donated goods are given to those who need them the most, he’s also focused on spending time with his beloved family. His family has been with him through thick and thin, and it’s easy for them, as most members don’t live any farther than nearby Oso, Michigan, a small town like it Kirby finished his interview with a simple thought. He said that like the old movie, it truly is a wonderful life.

So what can we learn from Howard Kirby? We can learn a lot about perseverance even through hard times. We can also learn about sticking to your convictions even when times get tough. Kirby has the amazing ability to weather the storm and focus on the positive. Though he’s gone through a lot, he always keeps his head up. He always helps others, giving back the kindness he’s received throughout the past few years.

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