Woman walks into a goodwill store, finds a family heirloom she lost 40 years ago

This is a tale of fate or some form of miracle that only happens once in a lifetime. This is the story of Julie Anne and Mike from Ohio. This couple raised their family in Ohio with no real dramatic events – they were an old fashioned American family living out their lives as most of us do. However, the miracle in question happened much later in everyone’s lives. Julie Anne and Mike moved to Florida after they both retired, and it was during their time there that they decided to go to the local Goodwill store. Now, if you have ever been inside a Goodwill store you know that it is usually filled to the brim with stuff – you know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! In the case of Julie Anne and Mike, somehow they came across something so incredibly valuable that it made Julie Anne quite weak at the knees. The day started out so much like the others, yet by the end of it, Julie Anne would be completely amazed.


Julie Anne was just wandering the aisles of the Goodwill store she frequented when she stopped dead in her tracks and yelped. The store assistant ran to her side, as did her husband, Mike, both of them thinking something happened to Julie Anne. 

As soon as Mike stood beside his distraught wife, she showed him what made her jump so. Mike too was completely overcome – what are the chances that out of all of the people, they would be seeing this?

Master Thrifter

Julie Anne and Mike were looking to deck out their home in Florida that they got after they retired. They love going to Goodwill stores since the prices are much lower than market value and you can find some incredible things. Julie Anne was a master thrifter and knew where to look for good deals.

Goodwill has some amazing finds if you know how to dig deep enough. Many people donate to Goodwill in order to declutter their homes when moving or downsizing. Julie Anne would benefit greatly from this act, and also did it herself.


Going to Goodwill means you can furnish and decorate your entire house on a budget that is probably a quarter of what you would have spent had you gone to a furniture store and design shop. Julie Anne and Mike knew that going to Goodwill and other shops of the sort, they would find incredible things to make their new home just as they want it.

What they did not see coming is the long lost treasure that they would see lying on a shelf in the middle of a Goodwill store thousands of miles from their original home.


It was at a Goodwill store in Jupiter, Florida, that Mike and Julie Anne were stunned. Julie Anne was hard at work looking through item and after item for the couple’s new home when she saw it, something so valuable that she stood there shaking before calling out.

She was not sure she was seeing things right, what are the chances that she would stumble upon this item? As we mentioned, Mike was just as stunned by this revelation and just like Julie Anne, he stood there wondering what the odds were that they would be the ones to find such an incredible treasure.

Goodwill Hunting

There are many people who go to Goodwill stores to hunt for treasures. They go in and try to find something that others overlooked and did not know was as valuable as it was. There are many stories out there of folks who found a rare item, bought it for low, and then sold it for a much higher amount since they knew exactly how valuable the item was.

While this was not Julie Anne and Mike’s intent, what they found was worth more than either one of them could explain in words. Goodwill truly did make these two happy campers.


The benefits of shopping at Goodwill are many – lower prices, high-quality items, and a percentage of the proceeds go to charity so no matter what you end up buying you will be doing the world some good.

There are many items at Goodwill that would easily cost a fortune to buy new, yet all it takes is one person who had the item and did not want to have it anymore for someone else to gain from it.


So what was this incredibly valuable item that left Julie Anne and Mike completely shaken up? It was a baseball mitt. Now that may not sound like much to you, but to Julie Anne and Mike, it was more than they could handle.

They saw the name scribbled on the mitt, they saw what it was worth. This mitt was signed by someone more important than the cashier at the Goodwill store knew, not to mention very far from its original home.

Baseball Mitt

The name on the mitt was written in black sharpie and read Christopher Lisi. Now that name may not mean that much to you or me, but to Julie Anne and Mike, it read their son’s name.

What makes this incredible is that it has been 40 years since anyone in the family has seen this baseball mitt – it has been lost for that long too. What’s more amazing is that this mitt was found in Jupiter, Florida.

Traveling Glove

Julie Anne and Mike lived in Ohio before moving to Florida. The baseball mitt had been lost up in Ohio over 40 years prior. How did this treasure find its way down to Jupiter, Florida?

It is mind-boggling to think that not only did this mitt make its way this far down the United States, but that out of all of the people to find it, it would be Christopher’s own parents who have not seen it in years.

From Ohio To Florida

The way Goodwill works is that in many instances when items are in one store for a certain period of time, they will get moved around to different Goodwill stores to try and sell the products. This must have been what happened with Christopher’s mitt.

Starting from Ohio, the mitt worked its way down the coast until it landed in the Jupiter, Florida Goodwill store that Julie Anne and Mike found it in 40 years later.

Christopher’s Mitt

Once the initial shock wore off, Julie Anne reached out to her son Christopher to tell him what she had found. As soon as Christopher got the text from his mom, he replied with two simple words – buy it! Christopher was the third family to be completely shocked by what Julie Anne had found.

Christopher has not seen that mitt since it was lost, it was his prized possession until that fateful day when he misplaced it.

The Mitt’s Story

Christopher was an avid baseball player when he used this very mitt to play. When Chris was 12 years old, he used this mitt to hit not one but two home runs during the 1978 championship game. It was after this game that Christopher realized he had lost his special mitt.

He did not tell his parents at first, for fear of their reaction, but eventually told them. The family searched for that mitt for a long time.


Julie Anne said that her finding Christopher’s mitt after all of these years can only be described as a miracle. She remembered the day that Christopher told her that he lost the mitt, and now, finding it for her son in such a random manner, there can be no other explanation other than fate.

Now her concern was how much it was going to cost her to get it back from Goodwill, she expected the cost to be very high.

How Much

When she brought the mitt to the cashier to see how much it would cost her to get it home to her son, she was very concerned that she would not be able to afford it. Luckily, the cost of the mitt was $1.49!

Julie Anne laughed and said she would have paid $149 for it. Needless to say, Julie Anne bought the mitt in seconds and was preparing to return it to her son, its rightful owner.

40 Years Later

Christopher loved baseball growing up but ended up in a different sport as an adult. Now aged 52, Christopher is a football coach for Worthington High School in Columbus, Ohio.

He did not forget about the mitt that went missing but he was sure that he would never see it again. After 40 years, Christopher was reunited with this treasure of an item. He was at a loss as to how this mitt found its way back to him.

Back To Where It ALl Started

After 40 years and 1,171 miles, the baseball mitt found its way back to Christopher. This beautiful side effect of the Goodwill store system is just one of the many instances where someones trash is another person’s treasure.

In this case, it was a literal treasure for Julie Anne, Mike, and Christopher. There is no way to know where the mitt went through but the important thing is that it ended up right back where it started.


Now that Christopher and the baseball mitt have been reunited, we cannot help but think of how many other treasures lie on the shelves of Goodwill stores.

People donate clothing, furniture, and items all the time; there must be more stories such as this one in the case of the lost artifact, but rarely do we hear of such an emotional and fateful reunion. We hope that more missing items are found in this magnificent way.