Woman searching for $3,000 camera accidentally donated, sold at an Anthem Goodwill

A woman’s story of her mom accidentally donating her camera has already reached tens of thousands on social media.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 8:23 PM MST
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ANTHEM, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A woman’s story of her mom accidentally donating her camera has already reached tens of thousands on social media. However, she’s still searching for a couple she says bought her camera at huge discount on Monday.

Kelsie Lee says photography started off as a hobby. “I just love everything about creating memories people can hold on to for their entire life through digital storytelling,” she said.

Soon, she said it became a dream job to photograph people’s weddings, engagements and elopements. “I just knew it was like all a pathway for me to be able to build this career I really wanted to,” Lee said

Unfortunately, on Monday, she says those dreams came crashing down. “I decided I wanted to leave the camera in the car rather than bring it into this restaurant and I didn’t want it to get stolen so my dad and I thought it would be the best idea to put it in a cardboard box,” she said.

She tells Arizona’s Family the box had been in her mom’s car for over a month, but on Monday, Lee’s mom dropped it off at the local Goodwill. “Somehow in a period of probably five hours from when the camera was dropped off at Goodwill and I figured out what had happened. The camera had been processed by the Goodwill team and on the shelves and sold,” she said.

Lee says having this happen to her has allowed her to see something so negative through a new lens instead focusing on the good. “I can just hope that whoever has it, it like was a stepping stone or pathway to make their dreams come true too,” Lee said. She believes whoever bought it will easily be able to identify it. She says the camera has a leather, brown neck strap and a professional lens. She also said the SD card has several pictures she hadn’t backed up, including a photo of her and her dad.

Her TikTok video now has people across Arizona searching for it in hopes of reuniting her with her camera. “It has 30,000 likes, 3,359 comments and over 1,000 people have saved it and it has 294,000 views,” she said.

Lee says social media has restored her faith in humanity and hopes whoever bought her items comes forward. She’s offering a $500 reward.