Around the holidays, there are always stories about goodwill.

This is about Goodwill goodwill.

On Tuesday, Julie Zerbst, who has worked at the James Island Goodwill store for nearly a year, was pricing some items on a cart of donations when she came across a rare find.

“There was a box ... and I saw these two envelopes and I was like, ‘Well this is kind of strange,’” she said.

The return address on the envelopes belonged to a local doctor, but where the address would go, was instead a dollar amount.

“I saw those numbers, and I immediately thought, ‘This is a deposit,’” she said. “I just found a lot of money.”

She went to her boss and the two opened the envelopes together in the office. Inside was nearly $2,000 in cash and checks.

She immediately called the doctor’s office.

Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina requested that the doctor’s name not be used, and he could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

He had dropped off the donations himself, but “he didn’t even remember losing the deposit,” Zerbst said.

Nonetheless, he was so thankful to have the money back that he gave Zerbst a reward. That’s when she paid it forward even more.

“We are not supposed to accept donations,” Zerbst said. “So I took the $40 and put it into the register and donated it to our Angel Tree.”

The Goodwill Golden Angel Tree program provides gift bags to disadvantaged seniors in the community, said Goodwill spokeswoman Erin Aylor. Each bag has $25 in goods such as blankets, socks, hats, toiletries and other items.

“The store associate donated that reward right back, making this a feel-good story just in time for the holidays,” Aylor said.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.