Who knew that treasure, real treasure, could be found in a paper jam?
On January 2, 2018, our Brenham, Texas, branch’s coin machine had a paper jam – the branch team immediately went to work to fix it and tucked inside the machine, treasure was found. Normally, jams are caused by bolts, paper clips and foreign coins that members forget to remove from their coin collections, so on this day the team was especially excited to find a ring!
Melissa Born, a Member Service Representative (MSR), was eager to learn more about the ring and reconnect it with its owner. Looking at the ring, Melissa noticed that it was a 1994 Alvin High School Class Ring, engraved with the name Debbie Martinez. ACU of Texas does have a branch in Alvin, Texas, but this ring was found in the Brenham branch – over 100 miles away!
Melissa, along with branch manager Wendy Frazier, and fellow MSR Rosella Dalton, began calling every single member who had used the coin machine. Unfortunately, no one knew about the ring or had attended Alvin High School.
The team then turned to social media, searching for the mysterious Debbie Martinez. The search turned up dozens of Debbie Martinez’s in the greater Houston area, but one stood out. Melissa sent a message to who she hoped was the correct Debbie on January 4, and received a reply on January 12 – the ring was Debbie’s!
Responding back to Melissa, Debbie was able to provide her with every detail of the ring, verifying that it was hers! The ring, which Debbie last had seen in Pearland, Texas, was lost in 1995, just one year after she received it. Debbie remembered having the ring at a friend’s apartment back then, and dropping it down a water grate – how it ended up in Brenham is still a mystery.
What made the ring discovery so much more special, is that Debbie’s Dad had bought the ring for her. Out of the six kids in her family, Debbie was the only one to graduate high school, and her dad was incredibly proud. The ring is now a memory of the love and pride her Dad had for her, commemorating his memory.
We’re thankful for the team members who care, and made an incredible effort to serve our community and find the owner of the ring. Thanks to them, a lost treasure has been returned and Debbie has been brought joy.
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