Arizona woman discovers touching note in $2 Goodwill book, seeks owner

A heartfelt note found inside a book at an Arizona Goodwill has become a message of hope for an entire community. The search is on for the intended recipient or the author of the note, which reads, “Believe, Trent – Believe,” with certain words underlined for emphasis. “You are loved and respected! So let’s get going. The ride may be bumpy but we will get there. When you believe in you as much as I do, you will be there. – Dad.” The note was written on a piece of paper from the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa in California, more than 700 miles away from the Goodwill shop.

Rose Farmer, 46, of Gilbert, Arizona, found the $2.29 book on a shelf at her nearby Goodwill while shopping with her mom and seven-year-old daughter. She was searching the aisles for a costume when she decided to look at the books. The woman next to her picked up a copy of “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers, which was first published in 1940. A handwritten note then tumbled out and onto the floor.

Farmer asked the fellow shopper if she could have the book, and it was sold to her for 50% off that day. She went home and posted a picture on “Go Gilbert,” a community Facebook page, to see if someone recognized the note, the book or even the handwriting. Although she did not immediately find a connection, she was touched by the overwhelming response. The post garnered over 1,000 likes, which Farmer said has motivated her to keep searching.

Trying to follow every possible clue, Farmer said she reached out to the hotel that’s named on the stationery, hoping the hotel would post the note on its Facebook page and the guest who wrote it would see it. She has not heard back and hasn’t seen any mention via the hotel’s social media. “The note was pretty new, so I thought maybe it was somebody who went there and they just took the paper home,” she said. “But, you just never know. It could have been somebody from across the country.”

“The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” is the story of John Singer, a deaf man living in a small town in Georgia. When he loses his only deaf companion, Singer is left isolated and alone. “It’s a book about overcoming hopelessness,” Farmer said, adding that she never read the book written by Carson McCullers. “It follows this gentleman who’s deaf and he befriends some people in a southern town. The book is about being able to overcome despair.”

Farmer said she feels there’s a reason that she’s the one who found the note and that it would mean a great deal to her if she could locate the owner. “I don’t think he realized how many lives he touched with that note, even though it wasn’t meant for me to share it with everybody,” Farmer said. “I feel like it would just be a wonderful feeling to know that, ‘Hey, you touched a lot of lives even though you may not have meant to.'”