Austin's uses found money to buy donations to Coats for Kids

The Original Austin's grocery store owner Rick Austin and manager Jill Prosser donate winter coats to the Coats for Kids program bought with unclaimed money found in the store over the summer (Photo: The Salvation Army of Greater Green Bay)

ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WBAY) - If this were a mystery novel, the mystery wouldn't be solved but the book would still have a happy ending.

A grocery store in Allouez, on the outskirts of Green Bay, used money found in its store on several occasions this summer -- but never claimed -- to buy winter coats for Coats for Kids.

The Original Austin's owner Rick Austin and manager Jill Prosser delivered the coats to the Salvation Army in Green Bay on Monday, Nov. 4.

On its Facebook page, The Original Austin's on Bellevue St. said it bought 13 new winter coats, which are on display in its store. It encouraged customers to add to the donation by offering to throw in a pair of gloves for every coat donated through October 31.

Each fall, Coats for Kids seeks donations of new or gently-used winter coats and accessories, like gloves and hats. This year's donation drive ran through November 1. [Disclosure: WBAY-TV is an annual sponsor of Coats for Kids.]

Austin's staff wondered if they were the target of a prank after large sums of cash were found in the store at least four times -- first in July and then three times in August.

Despite reports in the news and social media, the true owner or owners never came forward.

Austin's said it was a significant amount of money but never said exactly how much money was found. A sign at the store thanks the "honest crew and customers" who handed in lost money.

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