High Point recycling employee finds woman’s lost keys

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- We all have those days when we’re rushing out the door and not paying close attention to what we’re doing.

Sharon Pohlman was having one of those days as she was putting items in her recycling bin.

Unfortunately, she had her keys in her hand at the time.

Her husband drove when they ran errands in the morning.

It wasn’t until hours later when she got home that afternoon that she noticed she didn’t have her keys.

She checked her bins.

“They had already been emptied so there was nothing there,” she said.

She got nervous because three sets of car keys and a house key are on the same chain. She also had pictures of her grandchildren on the chain.

She thought it was a long shot to get her keys back, but decided to call customer service anyway.

Staff at the City of High Point Material Recovery Facility got word to keep an eye out.

“We had a meeting on Thursday morning and I explained it to all the employees and described the set of keys,” Superintendent Melanie Bruton said.

The task would not be easy.

On a Wednesday/Thursday schedule, workers handle as much as 70 to 80 tons of material.

The keys could have been anywhere.

It was a good thing Antoine Curtis was working at the facility last Thursday.

“I had to throw away a brake caliper, lift over the box [and] found the keys,” he said.

When Pohlman got the call, she wanted to thank him personally.

After the initial meeting, Pohlman went back to the facility to bring the team donuts.

She brought her grandchildren too.

“I wanted them to see there are good people. People who saw an opportunity to help someone and worked hard at it and did it,” she said.

“Be the change you seek in this world. My mother always taught me that, so that's what I try to do,” Curtis said.

Last year, Curtis’ wife lost her keys that they couldn’t find.

It cost them $135 to replace the keys.

He says that’s the other reason why it feels good to help someone else.

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