DES MOINES, Iowa – Just a few days before Christmas, State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald was pleased to present a check for $24,197.49 from the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt to the Polk County Jail Ministries Inc. on Thursday. Chaplain Jerry VanCleave was present to receive the check on behalf of the Polk County Jail Ministries Inc. “It is my pleasure to return this money,” Fitzgerald said. “We are all partners in ensuring that we look out for organizations that provide valuable services here in Iowa,” Fitzgerald said. “I am happy to get this money back to the Polk County Jail Ministries Inc. and I encourage people to search our list for organizations in your community.”
The Polk County Jail Ministries Inc. relies on donations to complete their mission. “Thanks to the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt in releasing the accumulated gifts of donors who believe in the Ministry at the PCJ,” stated Chaplain Jerry VanCleave of the Polk County Ministries Inc.
Over $377 million is waiting to be claimed in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, over $65 million in Polk County alone. The program has returned over $255 million in unclaimed property to more than 592,000 people since Fitzgerald created it in 1983. “Unclaimed property is not just for individuals. I encourage people to search for their local churches, schools and businesses.”
Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property’s owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report unclaimed property to the state treasurer’s office. The assets are then held until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents.
Visit the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov to begin your search. Keep up with all of our programs on social media (Facebook and Twitter @IowaTreasurer).