Man accidentally donates can filled with expensive jewelry

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Bill Irwin was house sitting the home of his son and his wife last Saturday. He noticed a paper bag labeled "Stamp Out Hunger" which he recognized as the food drive put on by the Lowcountry Food Bank.

Irwin decided to take it upon himself to raid the pantry, and began filling the bag with canned soup from his son's pantry. Little did he know one of those cans was filled with jewelry and gold coins.

When his son returned home and noticed the can was missing, they began frantically calling the food bank, begging the director to allow them to come sort through the cans. What they didn't know is the food bank had over 130,000 cans donated, and they were all in their warehouse.

"We had thousands upon thousands, upon thousands of cans.  They're everywhere," said George Buell, Director of Distribution.

"They called on Monday.  I told them to be patient because we have a group of college kids coming on Thursday to volunteer and they could sort through the mess," said Buell.

First thing Thursday morning, around 50 kids started sorting through the cans.  After only 25 minutes, someone found it.

"I was so happy I found it! I knew that it made them happy,"said Trista Demby, the college student who found the can.

All the jewelry was still inside.  Irwin came by and picked it up but not without thanking Demby and giving her a hug.

"I'm so thankful she found it because I was in the doghouse for a few days!" said Irwin.

Copyright WCSC 2011.  All rights reserved.