Goodwill locations receive thousands of donated items, and employees have to sort through all of the items before the items reach the storeroom floor.
Talon Mills has been working at Goodwill for a year. With his experience, he now helps train new hires. Mills says the most popular question that employees ask: is “What is it?” as they open donation boxes.
Often times employees look to Mills for answers as to what the donated treasures are. Recently, when Mills opened a box at the Tucson Goodwill Store and Donation Center on Houghton Road, south of Golf Links Road, it prompted more than the general question.
Inside the box was a Purple Heart Medal. This medal is only awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who are wounded in war at the hands of the enemy and passed down to the next of kin who are killed in action or die of the wounds received in action.
“Did the recipient of the medal give it away?” he asked. “Did their family give it away, not knowing it was in the box?”
The owner of the Purple Heart is Nick D’Amelio, Jr. He served our country in World War II. The service member was lost at sea on Sept. 6, 1943. His destroyer was attacked off the coast of Guadalcanal in 1942.
The Goodwill of Southern Arizona is currently looking for the rightful owners family to return the priceless item. Goodwill is asking for help in locating the family of Nick D’Amelio so they can return the medal. If anyone has any information about the family, please call (520) 623-5174 x 7039.