Everyone says yes when given an opportunity to opt the best stuff that suits our budget. At times, clothes picked up from thrift shops instantly makes to our wardrobe favorites. Despite the fact that it requires enough time to go through the whole lots of odd pieces and pick the right thing at the right price, we never step back from spending our time in search of something, anything amazing. After all, this is where most of us improved our bargaining skills.

However, on several occasions, few items make you wonder about its sole owner. But very rarely do we see anyone who takes a step ahead rather than just wondering and so is the story of this woman who not just took it to next level but did a life-enhancing act. Here’s all you need to know about this strange yet inspiring story.

A Thrift Store Visit

It all started in 2009 when Sara Redlich was on a trip to Hillsboro, a town not far from her place ie Aloha in Oregon. The concept of cheap and nice is what attracts us to these stores and usually, we get enough free time to explore and shop when on outings. Just like the rest of us, the idea of a thrift store nearby sounded like a fun thing to Sara and hence her excitement led her to the local Goodwill at Hillsboro to get herself few efficient picks. She had no clue about how this store was soon gonna grant her with an extremely beautiful experience.

Discovered Something Strange

Most of the times we ignore the great things that await our attention to happen. Similar great thing awaited Sara in the store that day. While Sara was on her hunt for the best and most suitable stuff in the store, what she found was less of a product to be sold and more of someone’s personal belongings which ideally weren’t supposed to be there at the first place. Sara knew how much they can mean to the person whom they belonged to. So, not having a second thought she wanted to get them in the right hands. Though she was less aware of the difficulties she was about to face in return for an act of kindness. These are somebody’s memories. These are part of their life and history.

Help!Sara gathered up the belongings and brought them to one of the staff members.

As soon as Sara realized how big a deal they might be for their owner, Sara tried to get help from the staff members. She immediately informed the staff how mistakenly something personal that should not be on display for everyone was actually kept for sale. While she got the least help from the staff, Sara insisted on making an effort but got disappointed. Later, she expressed herself, they mean a lot of somebody, they mean a lot to me and they’re not even mine.

Chose To LeadSara figured that if the store wouldn't help her locate the owner, then she would just have to do it herself.

After sensing that no one was bothered by the situation or willing to help in locating the address of the owner, Sara knew that she didn’t want them to be at the shop. Hence, she took those to her place, taking the responsibilities. Later, she expressed her emotions at that very moment in an interview with the Washington newspaper, The Columbian, I grabbed them all. I thought, ‘I need to find the rightful owner. If nobody else is going to do anything about it, I am.’

Years Of Forgetfulness

Sadly, it was about to turn out to be a long pause before the possibility of the item could ever be received by the right person. It’s crazy, I’ve had these for six years, she said with disbelief.

Though Sara was very concerned about getting the possessions to their rightful owner, she didn’t know how reason being she kept them in a box and forgot about them soon. So, it was going to take a longer time for the right person to get their precious item back. As time passed Sara forgot about them completely and got along with her life. In the coming years, she moved from Aloha to different places and finally ended up settling down in Salmon Creek, Washington.

Whole Vancouver Helped
While Sara was going through boxes from her last move, she stumbled across her thrift store find once again.

Years later, Sara didn’t remember about the box she kept the belongings in. Until one day, when she was going through her stuff, settling things at right place after moving to Salmon Creekhile.  She once again got the item she found at the thrift store. Sara knew its been long enough that the owner is unaware. So, this time she had a plan as she intended to get these belongings to the owner anyhow. About her next step, Sara said, I was hoping for at least one person to care about who this person was, but I had all of Vancouver helping me.

Search Mode On!

And that's exactly what Sara did.

And she spread a word through social media among her friends and further. Hoping to get to the owner of her thrift store’s find, Sara clicked pictures of the item and posted it on a facebook group “Vancouver Area Free Market”. Though it seemed almost impossible at first, not for too long. As it took lesser than a day and she heard from the owner. Sara got a response and there she was, Sara found the lady she needed to hand over the belongings to.

Who Is The Owner?

Rose Hill is from Hillsboro, Oregon, the place where the items were found.Rose Hill lived in Hillsboro for over years, without even being aware that she is being searched by Sara to return what originally belonged to her. Until Sara posted the information on Facebook and Rose’s son viewed it who called his mom and told, Mom, you’re all over social media. Stunned Rose replied, No, I’m not. She later explained her emotions at that moment as It was really surreal. The info came as a surprise to Rose at once and later she realized how much these mattered to her. After being unknown to what she was really missing on, she wanted to get her thing back soon.

Sara’s Excitement

Image result for sara redlich

I’m so excited to meet her, I’m shaking, Redlich said. I think that’s great. And if these can help her in any way, I think that’s fantastic. When her efforts of generosity paid off, it made Sara feel wonderful that finally, she’ll be able to give her thrift store find to the right person.

Lost Memory Of Her Belongings!

Sara was so happy that she found the right person!I didn’t even know we had those, as The 64-year-old suffered through memory loss, for around a year. She further talked about how the loss of memory that affected her, It seems like a lot of my life is gone and I can’t find it, I was rooting for them to find brain lesions or a brain tumor. I wanted to know what was causing this, because if you know what’s causing it maybe you can fix it – or make it better – or make it not hurt so bad. Sara knew these were more than just usual, however, she never thought that this might be a reason for so much happiness to Rose as it helped in giving her a detailed picture of her love life.

Wait For 9th January

Sara’s act of thinking personally about others resulted in lots of happiness. Without any delay, Sara instantly called Rose and they talked over the phone but Rose didn’t intend to meet right away. Sara wrapped them to surprise her and waited for 9th January to see Rose. And the result was a whole stock of history and old days memories that were forgotten with time. She wished to wait for a special date. Wonder why?

Joe- The Flashback

The couple had met as children, while they were at a farm picking strawberries. Going through her belongings Rose remembered when she met Joe while picking strawberries from the farm, Rose and Joe had known each other since childhood. Later as they grew up, Joe joined the army and was sent to Vietnam. They always shared a sweet understanding friendship. In 1972, when he came back on Christmas break Joe borrowed Rose’s car and she never thought twice before letting him take the car as they became too good friends by that time. All she requested for was to drop her at the office and later to home. Unaware that this might be a start of their journey together. So what actually was hidden in the wrapper Sara brought with herself that day?

Sudden Turns In Their Journey

Image result for rose and joe hillJoe agreed to drop Rose and this brought an amazing turn to their relationship when they had their first kiss while on their way to Rose’s workplace. The rides gave them quality time to spend together, as a result, they came close enough to take the big step called marriage. The couple as decided got married and eloped to Reno, Nevada. It was the beginning of a new phase in their lives however the couple was unaware of the coming twist. Few days after their big day Joe was called off from his holidays to the Vietnam war resulting in the couple’s partition.

Three days later he was back in Japan and I was still in my apartment. There was nothing, except a guitar, there was no Joe anywhere in my house.

The Moment Of Surprise

As soon as Rose opened the package, she couldn't believe what was in front of her.When they met on the planned date, Rose unwrapped the package, she couldn’t believe her eyes for a while. An emotional moment for sure as in front of her was a pile of old envelopes waiting to be read by her. These were written during the Vietnam War, by her ex-husband Joe Hill. During the 1970s when Joe served in the army, that’s when he wrote all these letters to his beloved Rose. The letters were worth finding for Rose as they had beautiful memories hidden inside words. They married 42 years back on the same date.

Love Through Words

The letters that Sara had found were from the first few months of their marriage.
The letters were from the early months of their marriage. The letters were a flashback of every moment they shared and meant more than just words to Rose. Distances lead Joe to write his affection for her which the letters were all about. Reading those letters was a journey down to those beautiful days for her. Words of love written by the man she once loved made her emotional that she couldn’t stop her tears from flowing. “Well, I think we can kind of surmise. Early marriage, love letters.”

Wrote Feelings, Read Emotions

It's definitely understandable why she would be so emotional.In one of the letters, Joe penned, “I love you, Rose! That may sound like an ending rather than a beginning, but let me assure you, it’s only the start of the beginning. Only the start of my feelings for you. Love is the only word capable of coming close to the description of my feelings for you.” Very intensely Joe expressed his thoughts and Rose could remember how special and blessed he made her feel with those letters. Makes a lot more sense now why these letters were more than just piece of papers for her as those were the expression of their young love.


Rose couldn't believe what she was reading.Who doesn’t like it when someone makes you feel so special? Or assures you of their love for their actions? And what if that someone is the one you love?! Besides expressing his love, Joe assured his beloved that his love would remain the same for her even after his return from the war, “As inadequate as words seem, I am forced to use them for now. The time will come, though, when I can show you just how much you mean to me. When that day comes, I will be the happiest man alive.” Clearly, their love stood strong against the test of time, in spite of being far from each other.

Unhappy Ending

Sadly, the couple has divorced since the time these letters were written.Not every story is happily ever after, so was with Rose and Joe. Unfortunately, the two were separated after 40 years of staying together. The letters proved to be a glimpse into the memorable past life of hers. Undoubtedly, Rose stored these letters close to the heart. “With a marriage that long and it doesn’t work, you carry a lot of guilt and shame.”

A Flood Of Memories

Re-reading the old letters brought a flood of memories back to Rose.Surely, its no less than a blessing for people experiencing memory loss. You can feel the immense excitement that Rose felt when she said, I remember! You smell the smells. You hear the sounds. You feel like you are back in time and place. The letters were unexpected yet a huge gift to Rose. 

Efforts Paid Off

Rose isn’t tired of appreciating Sara’s thoughtfulness. Delighted to see how one person’s little attempt can fill other one’s life with goodness. Rose said, “She rescued them and she’s kept them for five, six years. Yeah, she’s amazing.” Rose gifted Sara with her vintage jewelry that she was wearing when the two met. “I wanted to wear it so that it will carry with it some of my soul. I wanted it to be something meaningful. She cared for these, she cared for us,” Rose explains.

A New Beginning

They both indeed became friends instantly and planned to see each other time to time. I get to give her her memories back, said overwhelmed Sara. Says Rose Hill, Jan. 9 has a whole new meaning for me now. A new chapter, a fresh start. Above all, the fact that Sara kept the letters for few years and gave to Rose at the time she hardly remembered what happened turned out to be an excellent coincidence. At times, the smallest act of kindness can matter the most to others.