Woman Hunts Down Original Owners When She Buys A 20-Yr-Old Camera From Goodwill.

A two-photo collage. The first shows a close up of a young woman smiling as she talks. The second photo shows the Goodwill camera she got that's next to a tablet with a bunch of photos on it.

You never know what you’ll find when you go thrift shopping. Sometimes, you end up finding exactly what you need. That’s why, while on her Thanksgiving break from college, Jordyn Vermont asks her mom to go thrifting with her. While at a Goodwill in the St. Louis area, she finds an almost 20-year-old camera. As a self-proclaimed amateur photographer, she knows this is a fantastic find.

It isn’t until Jordyn gets home, however, that she realizes just how amazing it is that she found this camera in particular. A memory card is still inside of it, and it contains lots and lots of family photos.

A Goodwill camera sat on a table next to a tablet. On the tablet are a photos.
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“We were joking with some of the people that we had talked to, they were saying, ‘Oh maybe you’ll help solve a murder with these pictures,'” her mom, Sharon, recalls. “We thought, ‘I certainly hope not.'”

There isn’t a murder mystery to solve, but the memory cards do contain photos of a family that were taken in 2009. Without hesitating, Jordyn and her mom take action to find the family in the photos.

Goodwill Camera Contains Memory Card With Family Photos

A close up of a young woman, Jordyn Vermont, smiling as she talks.
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“If anyone could find who they belonged to, it would be my mom because she’s just really good at that type of stuff,” Jordyn says.

To locate the family, Sharon posts about their find on three different Facebook pages as well as her own. Meanwhile, around the same time, the owner of the photos runs into a friend she hasn’t seen in a decade. Just two days later, that very friend shares Sharon’s Facebook post with Pat, asking if that’s her family. Astonishingly, it is!

Turns out, the owner is Pat Schopp. In 2001, she and her husband, Phil, bought the camera. They chose to donate it to Goodwill in November 2023 when they found it while cleaning their basement.

Pat Schopp smiles as she talks to news crew.
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Jordyn could have easily thrown away the memory card that came with her Goodwill camera, but that’s not something she could have even considered.

“I don’t know, I feel like if I had a camera out there that had my family photos out there, I would want that back,” Jordyn says. “Especially because they were on the memory card, there is a chance that they weren’t downloaded to their computer. I didn’t know if some of the people in the photos weren’t around anymore.”

Two of Pat's photos are shown in a way to where they're edited into polaroids. One shows a woman looking back and smiling as she does dishes at a sink; she could be Pat. The second shows a young man talking as he sits on a couch.
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Sharon felt the same way. Her own mom passed away three years ago, so she understands deeply what it would mean to her if someone found old photos of them together. Turns out, Pat has lost loved ones recently.

“My dad has been gone for five years,” Pat says. “Then my aunt passed away two years ago.”

Needless to say, Pat is grateful for Jordyn and Sharon’s kindness. In fact, their families plan to stay in touch, even as Jordyn goes to Peru soon to study abroad.

Jordyn, her mom Sharon, and Pat sit around a table and look at photos together.
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“(It’s) definitely magical,” Pat says. “Very exciting and just crazy. I mean it’s such a small small world — it really is a small place.”

Meanwhile, Sharon couldn’t be more proud of her kindhearted daughter.

“(Jordyn) was the one who said we have to try to find out whose pictures they are,” Sharon adds. “That just showed me what a beautiful soul my daughter has.”

You can find the source of this story’s featured image here!

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