Charitable giving

Howard Kirby of Ovid hands over Thursday at the Habitat For Humanity Restore in Owosso Township the $43,170 he found inside the cushion of a footstool to Kim Fauth-Newberry of Owosso, who had donated the footstool to the Restore, as her husband, Mike Newberry, and son, Trevor Newberry, look on.

OWOSSO TWP. — The Habitat For Humanity ReStore in Owosso Township is raising the roof for the man who returned the $43,000 he found inside an ottoman he purchased at the ReStore.

Thursday, ReStore co-manager Rick Merling announced the store is arranging to replace the roof at the Ovid home of Howard Kirby, the good Samaritan who last week returned the cash to the people from Corunna who donated the furniture.

“Habitat For Humanity is contracting with (roofer) Darryl LaClair and our supplier to provide Howard with a new roof,” Merling said.

Previously, in response to a question from a reporter, Kirby mentioned that his house could use a new roof. However, he has insisted all along that he does not expect any reward for his actions, doing what he did only because he is a Christian who strives to live like Jesus.

The Argus-Press was unable to reach Kirby Thursday for comment.

Four other roofing companies contacted the ReStore to offer Kirby a new roof, but Merling said Habitat For Humanity officials decided to work with local firms they knew.

Habitat is going the extra mile, Merling said, “because we thought Howard went the extra mile. He did a wonderful deed, and he might not qualify for Habitat programs.”

Merling said since word of Kirby’s good deed went public last week, the ReStore has been inundated with calls from all over the U.S. and the world (including Australia). Some calls were from major network shows such as “Nightline” that want to tell Kirby’s story.

Other people asked Merling’s staff to pass along a message to Kirby.

“They said, please tell Howard thank you,” Merling said. “He inspired us and has given us hope in humanity.”

Others in the community have been moved to do something for Kirby. A local doctor, Sarah Thomas, has set up a gofundme account for the Ovid man, a retired supervisor at Walmart.

As of Thursday afternoon, $415 had been donated to the account.

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