Forgotten $3,100 cash returned to widow, 90

Evelyn Weiner
Evelyn Weiner

(CBS News) ROTONDA WEST, Fla. -- A widow in southwest Florida is celebrating a gift from her past, and is amazed by the kindness of strangers.

Evelyn Weiner knew she'd be surprised by what she would find inside an old film canister containing 8 millimeter film of times with her family in Connecticut.

She's now 90 and lives in Rotonda West, Fla.

Evelyn says the film dates back to the early 1940s. Amazingly, much of it is in color.

"Oh my God - 70 years -- I didn't even think about that!" she exclaimed.

Some of those memories: a younger Evelyn, times with her three children, cherished moments with her late husband, Mickey.

"We were always together," she says. "We did everything together. He was a good husband. But I was a good wife, too."

Family members asked her to preserve those memories, so Evelyn took the film to a nearby Walmart store, from which it was shipped to a company called Yes Video' in Georgia, to have it turned into a DVD.

But she wasn't expecting what happened next.

A Yes Video employee found a hidden stash of money inside the canister -- $3,100 -- and the company wanted to return it to her.

The secret stash was a surprise. Where it came from? Not so much.

"My husband had to have put it in there," Evelyn says. " ... He was close to retirement and he probably saved it so we could go to Israel."

But Mickey Weiner died in 1996 only two months after retiring. They never took that trip to Israel.

Evelyn says she can't believe a stranger who could have quietly pocketed the money would make sure she got it back. "When you pick up the newspaper or watch the television, everybody's bad, everybody steals," she observes. "And here, somebody hands me money that I didn't know was there."

The money will help with her finances and her children's, too.

"It came at a very good time, as if my husband was still watching out for me," she says.

So for Evelyn, not only do the memories have a new life -- she says she has a renewed faith in the honesty of others.