Charitable Souls Reveal The Strangest Things Found In Donation Bins

April 25, 2019 | Christine Tran

Charitable Souls Reveal The Strangest Things Found In Donation Bins

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Or, at least, that’s the idea behind donation boxes. Unfortunately, not every charitable item makes it to a hand in need—for reasons grounded in both practicality and even basic hygiene. These employees and donators have stories to tell about the items that only found a home in their nightmares. Keep an open heart to these 42 wild stories about the freakiest things found in donation boxes.

1. You Can’t Donate Memories

I once found an entire cardboard box of original newspapers from major historical events, including the Kennedy assassination, Nixon’s resignation, the moon landing, etc.

Donation Bin FactsMax Pixel

2. This Looks Like a Case for Bruce Wayne

I found a blazer vest with a LIVE BAT comfortably nestled inside it, cute little guy. I never got pictures, was before the age of smartphones I'm afraid. Got the thickest pair of gloves to carefully grab him and release him outside.

Donation Bin FactsFlickr

3. Which Way to the Food Bank?

We got a winter jacket with a lice comb and an extremely old hard-boiled egg in the pocket once. My coworkers took the egg out back and chucked it, which is how we found out about it being hard-boiled. Also, people have accidentally donated their groceries before, that's always interesting.

Donation Bin FactsPixabay

4. Pit Stop at a Charitable Heart

I used to work at a donation store and one day somebody brought in an entire truckload of machines used in a convenience store. Those hot dog rollers, a Slurpee machine, and warming cases. Surprisingly, we ended up selling them.

Donation Bin FactsFlickr

5. None of Your Bloody Business

It’s not unusual for people to make drop-offs after the store closes. Those donations sit outside until the next morning. A few summers back someone dropped off a freezer that had been chained shut and locked. It sat outside all night, leading the contents to melt and start leaking out. The next morning the workers come in to see this freezer, chained shut, that had been dripping... BLOOD?! The cops are called at this point because holy moly, we think somebody just donated a FREAKING DEAD BODY.

They show up, the freezer gets opened to find... a freezer full of deer meat. Womp womp.

Worst Thing Found in Hotel FactsShutterstock

6. Your Pain Is Our Gain

We found one heck of a collection—there was a whip, a fur glove, several heavily-illustrated insanely explicit novels from the 70s, and some other stuff I’ve forgotten. My manager let me take most of it for $1 per item. She kept the fur glove.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

7. The Future Looks Bright

I once received a Ouija board collection. Not one Ouija board, an entire collection. Some of them were very old looking and possibly homemade. A couple of them wear novelty items, including a glow-in-the-dark Ouija board and a glitter Ouija board. I think that there were 20 or more in the collection. I ended up getting a couple of them because the ladies that I worked with wanted to just throw them all away.

So, I took the coolest ones home with me.

Spooky planchette of Ouija Board on vintage textureArt and Roam, Shutterstock

8. As Good as the Real Thing

I worked at a donation shop one summer at a satellite drop-off area by a bar. The weirdest was a medical study skull made from a real human skull. It came in a legit medical study supply box. The top of the skull was cut and hinged.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

9. Hear Me Out: I’m Not Feeling This Invention

A book with “Bible for the deaf” written across the cover while the rest of it was written in Braille…They kinda missed the point with that one.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

10. Get High on Learning

I used to sell books on to pay for grad school. One time I went to the Salvation Army in New Orleans, before they remodeled it, and someone had just donated an incredible amount of books about Catholicism. Like, someone was DEVOTED to reading and learning and understanding Roman Catholicism. The Salvation Army guy was going through the like 20 boxes, and I said, "Hey, I'll give you $25 for all of them right now." He said, "SOLD!"

I got home and started looking up the ISBNs on and listing them to sell (I wound up making about $5,000, one book at a time, over the course of two years), but there were a lot of books about fairytales in the boxes too. I leafed through one of them and found an enormous dried marijuana leaf. Whoa! I kept leafing.... there were lots more. All told, I found over 50 marijuana leaves in the books. Before I shipped one after selling it, I had to look through all the pages to be sure I wasn't an accidental drug dealer.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

11. The Most Intimate Gift

I used to be a donation attendant. My personal weirdest was when a very, VERY old woman came to donate. The sweetest woman I’ve met in donations. Just one bag full of DVDs; didn’t need a receipt, easy. I go to open it, and it’s like 40 DVDs of the grossest porn I’ve ever seen. The others attendants and I were laughing for a good while from that.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

12. The Unhappy Witness

The store I worked at had a service to clear out houses of deceased people for free if we got to sell their stuff. My job was unloading trucks and sorting wares into different categories to be priced or thrown away. A huge stack of crates came in from one of these situations one day, and the first thing to catch my attention was a butt plug. Not a normal butt plug. The largest kind they sell.

Like, make a big circle by touching your thumb tips together and your index fingers' as well. This thing wouldn't fit through. Also, it had scabs of dried poop on it. Naturally, I found some tool to pick it up and drop it on colleagues’ desks for a laugh. Hoping for more funny stuff to entertain myself with, I kept digging through the crates. A rubber gimp mask was pretty funny, but then I went through a stack of letters and papers.

I found some photos of the guy whose stuff I was going through. There were court documents implying he lost custody of his daughter due to abuse. Then family photos with the little girl, and hospital letters about the mother’s cancer treatment and about her eventual death to the disease. It wasn't funny anymore. I felt like a dwarf who had dug too deep and awakened a balrog.

I felt like trash for a few days honestly. Piecing the story together like reading through a novel and seeing the faces to match the characters really affected me. That little girl must have been through hell. But I learned an important lesson that day; Best not to stick your nose into other people’s private matters.

Shortest-Lived Marriages FactsShutterstock

13. Return Flight to Childhood

I don’t work there, but I visit my local thrift store at least twice a week and I have a great story to share. About eight months ago, I was strolling down the aisles of the local thrift store when I saw a children’s jewelry box/music box that looked like an exact replica of one that I had as a kid. It had ballerinas on it and played the same song that mine did ("Swan Lake").

I opened it up and on the bottom corner of the soft material inside the box, I saw a tiny signature. It said my name. The way the letters were written left no doubt in my mind that this was the same music box from when I was a kid. I bought it for a dollar and brought it home. It now sits on my bookshelf. It was honestly like a moment out of a movie.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

14. A Treasure Chest of Temptation

Used to frequent a place we called the bins out in Sacramento. It was a pay by the pound store. I think things got lightly combed over and inspected before being put on the floor because there was always a lot of really weird stuff out there. Some of the weird stuff I personally found included a boot full of dirty polaroids for what looked like auditions for a dirty movie.

They were really old, at least mid-80s. I also found a piece to a handgun. The thing was busted to trash, but it was real. I informed the manager and they took it. No idea what happened to it. I found a sex toy. It looked like it was slimy, but I think the silicone or whatever was beginning to break down. The last was soiled underwear. When I first started going a bunch, I quickly realized why all the regulars wore gloves. I found poopy underwear more than once. Pretty nasty.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

15. Whack in the Box

Back in 2014, I was recently employed by the Goodwill of Southwestern PA. I was working the donation door with my little highlighter green T-shirt, when a pickup truck with stupidly high suspension pulls up about 10 feet away. Out jumps an overweight elderly man with the air of a crazed hermit. He had grey hair that appeared as though he was the leading face of Duck Dynasty, only messier.

He wore a white shirt, though you could hardly tell given the grime all across it, and a jean skirt that ended below his knees—held up by a pair of suspenders. This man barely says a word past “Hi!” and proceeds to take from the back of his truck, a plushy stuffed unicorn, an outdoor portable toilet, and a rusty saw. I ask if he wants a tax receipt. “Nnnaahh! Bye!”

He clambers back into the driver’s seat of his mountainous automobile, turns on the engine and drives off down the back alley, going the wrong way at that. I take a moment to catch my bearings and just go back inside to talk to my managers and friends about what I’d just experienced. When I returned, the portable toilet was gone. My managers suspected it might have been some kind of drug drop off for whoever took the toilet, but I’ll never know where it went.

Vegas factsGetty Images

16. Too Good to Sell Out

My local Goodwill had a wonderfully taxidermized jackalope. It was the most magnificent thing I'd ever seen. A rabbit with antlers and chicken feet and duck wings and I needed it. It was sitting behind the front counter with the more expensive stuff and I asked how much. They said it's not for sale, it's their new mascot. I said what? Did someone donate that? Where did it come from?

They said yes, someone donated it, but we are keeping it. I said, so someone donated it, for you guys to sell, but you won't sell it? I'll give you $100 right now. Sorry, it's not for sale. I offered $150 and told them to ask the manager. I want it. Please. You can't seriously keep it. The manager comes out, says no. It's their new mascot. I was hopping mad.

Goodwill employees aren't allowed to shop in the store or set aside items donated. It literally says so on the door. And I was prepared to give them $150 for it. But I wasn't about to make a scene. I could come back and look at its ridiculousness whenever I wanted, I guess, since it's their new mascot. I went back the next week. It was gone. I asked the cashier where it went. The manager’s sister came and bought it for $15.

Hate Someone FactsShutterstock

17. Hop Around This Grossness

I worked in donations. In the same day, we got a pickled baby tiger shark and a coin purse made from a kangaroo scrotum. For everyone wondering how I knew, it still had the original tag on it. Me and my co-workers were guessing it was an unwanted gift someone felt bad about throwing away.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

18. Bad Vibrations

A grinder with weed still in it—and, somehow, a suitcase full of sex toys made it onto the floor and was brought to our attention by an elderly lady who was wanting to purchase the suitcase but didn’t want "the extra stuff inside." I still think a customer had to have somehow snuck a bag of dildos in and dumped them there since anything going to the floor is opened and sprayed with disinfectant. Plus, it was heavy, so it definitely would’ve been opened if it arrived that way. Either way, it made for an interesting day at work.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

19. Keep It Brief

In college, I was one of the people that directly sorted donations. I've seen it all: vibrators, boxes of sex toys, a nunchuck collection, to name a few. On more than one occasion, we have found large amounts of money stashed away in hollowed out books, usually $1,000+ in new bills. The one story that sticks out the most was this middle-aged man who consistently came on Saturday evenings to donate used underwear. Bags and bags of men's used underwear, for almost three months straight, then suddenly he just stopped.

Donation Bin FactsFlickr

20. Chains of Gold, Mind of Tin

We got a really expensive gold necklace, like, worth $1,500. Our price printer only went up to $999, so that small necklace in a bag had TWO price tags on it. My manager put up a sign on the front door saying it existed if someone wanted to buy it. I was in shock as to why someone would just DONATE an expensive jewelry necklace. It was insane.

Someone came in wanting to buy it, and the manager had to sell it to him cause a lowly cashier mighty screwed it up. Except my manager, screwing up, only scanned one of the price tags. She got fired by a higher up for missing out on $500.

Donation Bin FactsPexels

21. The Sweet Song of Charity

My area of expertise is instruments, and occasionally people donate INCREDIBLE antique instruments. There are many dealers who watch these, so it's not like you can go find one on the shelf for $50. But recently, for example, someone donated an amazing German cello from a respected maker made around the 1750s. Even without being able to take a good look at it, at auction it could have gotten anywhere from $5,000-$30,000.

But beyond the monetary value, imagine the history of an instrument that old. Outliving so many of its players. Being played in courts and concert halls before electricity could light them. Being made completely by hand. Even the source trees were cut down by hand and horses pulled them to a mill. Performance after performance for over two-and-a-half centuries all to end up being given to the Goodwill.

It sort of short circuits my mind a little bit to think about how we lived then and how we live now...and then sometimes how those times intersect at the Goodwill. Kind of sad, kind of beautiful.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

22. Too Personal to Give A Damn

First, let me say that I work at the warehouse and handle all of the computers and higher-end electronics. That means I do not directly take donations. The dock workers take the donations and are then supposed to separate the trash out and divide the items by departments. The worst day I had opening a tote was the day I found a specimen jar 1/4 full of what appeared to be coagulated semen and some used paper towels.

I had to dispose of all the items in the tote due to potential contamination and immediately called the manager of the store that shipped me the tote in question. I also frequently find bottles of chemicals, propane tanks, rusted blades of various types (tools like saws, knives, etc.), and broken glass from various sources. I have found disturbing photographs (typically on camera SD cards, but also Polaroids), used underwear, sex toys, and various lingerie.

I even once found a lace teddy that was torn up and covered in what appeared to be blood. You can usually expect one to three strange or funny items every week. What really irks me though are iDevices (iPhones, iPads, and the like). It is great that people want to donate said items, but around 90% of them are activation locked or not reset at all with the iCloud account still active on it.

That means that we can only recycle these items to our electronic recycling facility because it still has personal information still on them and we aren't allowed to bypass the FRP. We waste about $1,500 to $3,000 a week on iDevices. So, if you are going to donate them, please sign out of your iCloud account and reset the device before doing so.

Juiciest Gossip factsShutterstock

23. Charity Is for Adults

We've had some nipple clamps on a chain, a Rabbit-style toy (yes, that kind of toy) with car charger, a jug in the shape of a breast, and a book with a hole in it that you stick your you-know-what in for a novelty puppet show. Oh, and there was also a mobile phone with a bunch of photos of a local policeman wearing his girlfriend's underwear. I securely deleted those. He owes me a get out of jail free card for that.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

24. Push This Gift Out of Your Mind

I was sorting out some donated items and come across an unusual set of tools. Through some research, we discovered that it was a full transorbital lobotomy toolset. It got donated to a local university for display. Apparently, a vintage set in good condition can sell for around $1,000.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

25. Harry Potter and the Undervalued Merchandise

I once found a signed first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Why would anyone give it away!? I managed to buy it for less than a dollar, and it’s honestly my prized possession today

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

26. When Heartbreak Becomes Charitable Tax Brea

My manager said she came to the shop once and there were bin bags waiting at the front of the store. It was obvious to her going through the bag that a guy had just tipped all of his (ex-)girlfriend’s possessions into bin bags and had donated them to us. All of her possessions; vibrators included.

Donation Bin FactsPxHere

27. Take a Chill Pill

Was doing community service at a Goodwill. A Vietnamese guy pulls up drops off a couple of trash bags and dips. We start looking through it all and I find a full 90-count bottle of 10mg oxycodone pills.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

28. Not Your Everyday Toy Story

Not so much crazy, but a happy coincidence. This is like 30 years ago. My husband bought a game called Ubi for his brother-in-law. He played it once over Christmas and just raved and said it was super fun. I went back to the tiny hole in the wall toy store after Christmas to get a game for him. They said sorry, they only got (and sold) a couple of games and couldn't get more, it was just a demo and limited run.

They had only printed like 100 of them. Darn. It sounded really fun, but what are you going to do? About five years later, I'm pricing wares at Goodwill and pull THE GAME out of a box! I priced it at $15 which was crazy expensive for a used game, and bought it on my lunch break. It was on my husband's birthday. Boy, was he surprised.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

29. Project Runway Comes to the Thrift

I worked at one in college. It was a mom-and-pop thrift shop, and we were allowed the first pick since we were sorting through everything, which was about the only good thing about that job. Some guy's father died, and he donated all of his clothes. It was some really, REALLY nice stuff, all designer. He was about the same size as me, but taller, so I got some good stuff.

I ended up snagging a quality wool suit that was bespoke from some DC tailor—it fit me perfect after I took it in to get it fixed and I still have it—and a Burberry trench coat. Normally we just get junk and the occasional good vintage t-shirt, so it was pretty crazy. He could've sold this stuff online for a lot, but he just wanted to get rid of it, I think.

We had someone donate the biggest collection of old bitty clothes, only to find crumpled money in all the pockets. it was close to $4,000. We had no idea who had donated it, so me and my coworker just kept the money.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

30. You Can’t Put a Price on Love

One time we found a bunch of teenage love letters from around 1970. This was not long before Valentine's Day, so the letters became part of our seasonal display. A local TV station here did a story on the letters and helped us to find the people who wrote them!

J.D. Salinger FactsShutterstock

31. The Cartoon Lines Between Good and Bad Taste

I used to volunteer at a Salvation Army to get a scholarship. It was, on the whole, a pretty enjoyable time because some really nice people worked there. So, what I did a lot was rearrange the VHS tapes in the back because they were always getting looked through and people don't put them back. I notice a VHS. Oh, look, it's Akira, that's a cool movie. And, oh, look, a Street Fighter movie.

So, I look through this anime that I guess some dude donated and then I see an odd one. Now, I know that a lot of anime often has suggestive covers, but this one went kinda far. So, I look on the back and sure enough, "This is not a video for children. To be watched by adults only." Some dude, or maybe someone who didn't know better, donated a ton of hentai VHS tapes to a Christian charity, and the nice Cuban lady who ran the place stocked it all without knowing any better. I bought all of it.

Donation Bin FactsPixabay

32. His Move Is Our Gain

I used to work at a place in Canberra. The place was pretty eye-opening. It's attached to the council transfer station (where people dump things for landfill). You drive in, and to dump, you turn left. To recycle your appliances, furniture, or whatever you turn right to a green shed and drop it off for free. The stuff is then resold very cheap to the public.

It looks and feels very charitable and is good for the environment. It turns out the place is privately owned. And, Canberra is turning over something like 60% of its population every year due to all the politicians, military, and government personnel on annual contracts, and with all of these individuals highly paid, you get a surplus of near new fully decked out apartments because the guy has to move back to Melbourne in two weeks and he just wants to donate all his stuff to a charity instead of selling it.

New 60-inch TVs in the box. All sorts of things. And everyone in Canberra believes this place is a charity. They're turning over about $2m a year and have almost no running costs. It gets crazier. They have a pickup service. I went to pick up a fridge from a girl who was moving interstate the next day. She gladly paid us $100 for the privilege of donating her fully operational fridge that we immediately test and tagged and sold for $80 about 2hrs later.

Many times, I would pick up entire household’s worth of furniture and appliances and still somehow charged the customer $800 or so for the job, and then resold the donated items for another $800 all in one day. People in Canberra praise this place because they publicly donated $10k to a charity. It's regarded as an amazing system for recycling.

It's not like they accept things that are broken. Half the stuff they accept gets thrown away anyway. To answer your question. Some people donated small yachts. I saw a golf cart. Old cars and more are regularly donated and then sold for real, tangible money. That a private company earns. I really need to add some emphasis here, there are regularly LINEUPS of cars wanting to drop stuff off.

I believe there are many, many people dropping off goods there that they could otherwise sell, but they feel like the service exists and is legitimized by the council or state government (who award them the contract) as a charitable environmental push, but it absolutely isn't.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

33. Children Are the Future (of Your Nightmares)

Someone once brought in some creepy statues of children. They looked alright until you saw their eyes. Oh god! Their eyes! They were indentations made by the artist's fingers, so they looked gouged out. Apparently, they were made by some famous person? They came with certificates, as though someone would actually want those things. I tried so hard to find the name of the statues and artist—look up sculptures by Lee Bortin. After hours of searching "creepy sculptures" and surfing eBay, I now have nightmares.

Stupidest Things to Impress Crush factsShutterstock

34. Cinderella Gives Back

One day a Russian lady came in with about six gorgeous evening gowns. She kept saying to us that she'd had them since she was young, when she lived in Russia, that they were high-end/designer dresses (we couldn't read the tag). From my own knowledge of sewing/dressmaking, I can tell you these things were exquisite. I was working with the books, but I managed to get a good look at them, and the seams were breathtakingly neat.

Hand-embellished with beads, crystals, hand-embroidered details on some; they'd clearly been taken care of too, as the colors weren't faded or discolored, and she'd even brought them to the shop in garment bags. She said she'd brought them in because she was well past wearing them (I think she was in her 60s), they certainly wouldn’t fit her, and she wanted some young woman to get to “experience the joy of wearing them.”

These dresses were freaking GORGEOUS, y'all. Unfortunately, I left before they were taken out of the back room into the shop, so I never saw who bought them. They were probably bought as debs dresses in the end.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

35. Love Hurts and Doesn’t Want Tax Deductions

I was a manager at a local nonprofit that gives away donated items for free. It's basically a Goodwill, but you can just take what you want (each shopper has a limit of clothes/toys/books, etc., they can take per person in the household per month). We had tons and tons of donations and my main job was keeping the donations organized and making sure the volunteers and donators were happy.

I had a woman come in super pissed off. She just started unloading the back of her minivan. Some volunteers grabbed me because they were afraid of her. There were tools, a wedding dress, radios, instruments...tons of valuable items. She was yelling incoherently, and I was just trying to get the stuff from her before she threw it on the parking lot ground and broke the stuff.

She started calming down and I was able to ask her if she wanted a tax form for all this stuff. Normally, people do, but it's just for some clothes. This lady was easily donating a $1,000-worth of items, if not more. She told me that her husband told her wanted a divorce after so-many-years of marriage, and she was angry, so she was donating all his stuff.

I then was angry because I couldn't donate this guy's stuff without his permission, so now I had to find a spot to store all this stuff, and hope he would come here to find it. He ended up coming a few hours later and we had most of his stuff. Volunteers had put out some of the things (some tool belts, music books, and smaller tools). I didn't ask him any questions but gave him stuff back.

He was much calmer than his wife, so I think I know why he wanted the divorce. She never did come back for that wedding dress, but the dress made another woman's day, so it was all worth it.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

36. Who Knows How the Economy Works?

There is a thrift “outlet” store in the blue-collar town of Pasadena, Texas near Houston. The company had seven area thrift stores, and each store would dump its slow movers at the outlet. Everything was sold at the same price, whether it was a mink coat or a pair of socks. One day they were selling every item for 35 cents.

I was browsing a rack of sports coats, and my hand touched a particularly elegant piece of fabric. I checked the label, and it said: “Henry Poole & Company, Bespoke tailors, London.” I knew it was special, so I looked in the inner pocket, and found the name of the person it was made for, and the date, 1969. I took it home and started Googling.

Henry Poole, it turns out, is a custom tailor in business since the 1700s and makes suits for the very wealthy. We are talking $5,000-$14,000 range. Next, I checked the owner’s name: Dr. J. Kenneth Galbraith. Something rang a bell. Back to Google and I found Economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who started out working on FDR’ s New Deal and became an advisor to JFK and a close friend of the president and Jackie Kennedy.

No proof, right? My coat owner may have been a dentist from Dallas for all I knew. Then I looked at the sizing of the coat. It would have fit Abe Lincoln! This guy was nearly 7-feet tall and skinny as a rail. Back to Wikipedia and discovered that the economist who had written more than 100 books was 6’9” tall and a bean pole. That was good enough for me.

The next week, I went back to the thrift, found the identical coat in the same fabric. It was dated 1967 but looked brand new. I figure this guy must have gone to London every couple of years and had identical suits made. He may have had a closet full of them, and the older one got pushed to the back of the closet and never worn.

The question I could never answer was this: How did the bespoke wardrobe of a famous economist who lived in New England until he died end up in a thrift shop in Pasadena, Texas? I sold them on eBay for a couple of hundred bucks. Were the buyers aficionados of Henry Poole’s bespoke tailoring, or economics groupies? We’ll never know.

Life-Ruining Secret FactsShutterstock

37. Too Soon to Give It All Up

This was 7 years ago now. I had a lady, in her late 30s, donate everything in her house. A whole moving truck full. I didn't notice anything until it was almost empty. She was acting nostalgic, yet semi-flippant about giving it all away. In the end, she asked if she could pray for me and the co-worker that helped unload the truck. It was only a few seconds after she drove away that I had a sinking feeling about this lady.

I told my boss that nothing about this lady seemed right. I ended up racing through some of the boxes to look for info, found a bunch of journals and things from therapists over the years. It turns out she'd been living with mental illness for most of her life and was giving us all her stuff so she could go home and end her life. I asked my boss to call the police, and an officer apparently contacted her sister. They prevented her from dying by suicide that day. I'm unsure if she's still alive today, but I hope she wasn't mad at me for trying to help.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

38. Play, Laugh, Shoot!

My mom used to work at a thrift store, and I was in middle school at the time, but I was in the sorting room waiting for her to get off. I was hanging out with the sorting guys, and one of them pulls out this white trash bag and it was just full of Lego, just by looking at it. He asked if I wanted it. I said of course!!! And I took the whole bag and kept it by my side.

Anyway, it was time to leave and one of the other sorters asked if he can look inside the bag and I said sure! He started to dig around the bag and finds a whack ton of live shotgun shells ranging from 12g-20g and a bunch of .22lr rounds. They were shocked, and he keeps looking and finds this small sawed-off shotgun, like they cut it the barrel into like 5 inches basically a small shotgun pistol and it was from a double barrel.

They were pretty fascinated by it! I will admit I was pretty disappointed they found all of that in the bag because it would have been mine—but it was for my own good. I still went home with the bag and still found a bunch of .22 ammo even found some .223 rounds and quite a few more shotgun shells. Eventually just gave the shells to my uncle and kept the bullets and put them on display.

Donation Bin FactsPexels

39. Cirque de Confusion

I was going through donations and saw we’d got a three-man tent. All poles, excellent condition—complete with poop-filled underwear stashed away in one of the pockets attached to said tent.

Yep, they're crazy FactsShutterstock

40. A Tightly Knit Crew

Of all the things I’ve found, the used vibrator was a highlight, with the added touch of a single pube stuck to it. The dead mouse was...a somewhat different experience. The homemade jam was a nice one. We couldn’t sell it, but we had pre-opening staff toast parties in honor of Mrs. Old Lady and her homemade plum jam! I just remembered another one. The mystery knitter.

So, every so often, at various times of various days, a bag would appear. A nondescript white bag, full, with white tissue paper on top. In the bag would be beautiful knitted babywear—cardigans, hats, booties, all different sizes and colors. All hand knitted, with the same talcum powder scent. We’d try to stake the front of shop out to find out who, but we never did. I still go in for a chat and a rummage and the Mystery Knitter is still at it. We like to think of some wee old lady lurking around until the coast is clear then finagling the bag into the shop and leaving the scene unnoticed.

Donation Bin FactsPixabay

41. A Final Trip to the Beach…Not

I was a receiving and loading lead at a thrift store for a few years. We had this guy that cleaned out storage units for a living and then he’d dump whatever he couldn’t flip with us for a tax slip. He pulls up and we’re going through it all. Pretty nice stuff; it looked like it was an estate sale. We get it all unloaded and then we start snooping through to see what needs to get brought to where and we find this green glass vase filled with sand. I started pouring the sand out into the trash so we could figure if the vase was worth using. Someone says: “That’s not sand.” Somehow, we ended up with an unmarked, full urn.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

42. Child’s Play

When I was about 16 years old, I worked at Goodwill for about six months. There was this old homeless man, who used to try and sneak inside to sleep and stuff like that. Every day, he'd get kicked out pretty quick by one of my female coworkers. After about a month of working there with her, the homeless man came up to the counter she was working at, gave her a Target bag filled with rocks, and left.

We open the bag and find a doll underneath about a layer of rocks. It was so creepy. The doll looked exactly like her. We flipped it over and the back had her FULL NAME sewn into it. She quit about a couple days later because she was worried about that homeless man coming back to the store.

Donation Bin FactsShutterstock

Sources:  Reddit, ,

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.