CHOP allocates $91,000 in unclaimed money to anti-bullying

UNIVERSITY CITY (WPVI) -- There was sheer excitement outside CHOP's Karabots Pediatric Care Center in West Philadelphia Friday morning.

A surprise revealed in Good Morning America's "Show Me the Money" segment is helping connect people with money they didn't even know was theirs.

ABC News reporter Gio Benitez, with the help of some new friends at CHOP, announced that for years the hospital had more than $91,000 worth of unclaimed money in the Pennsylvania Treasury.

"We got a call from the GMA producer, and we couldn't quite believe it," said CHOP CEO Madeline Bell. "It's a bit like winning the lottery, and you didn't buy the ticket."

A wrong address, a forgotten account - it turns out 1 in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property with the Treasury.

Last year alone, people collected more than $400 million they hold in custody for the rightful owner.

"The average claim for Pennsylvania property is $1200, and most of it is individuals," said Pennsylvania State Treasurer Joe Torsella.

Bell explains they decided to earmark the entire amount for their national Violence Prevention Initative, which includes anti-bullying programs in schools like William C. Longstreth in West Philadelphia.

"It was for something really important that happens not just in Philadelphia, and not just the state, it happens everywhere," 8th grader Unique Dilday told Action News.

"It gave them techniques for handling bullying, so no longer do they have to be a part of it," said Longstreth's principal, Tisha Douglas. "They gave them ways they can prevent it."

The fact that Friday morning's presentation aired live on GMA - and, therefore, 6abc - was fun for the community, and maybe even a little nerve-wracking for the students holding the placards.

"I was like, 'I hope I don't drop this. I hope I don't slip,'" said Unique Dilday.

"Once I heard about it, I just wanted to come and support," said Ella from Marlton, N.J. "So I'm happy to be here."

You can check for yourself to see if you have any unclaimed money.

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