For more than 40 years, the Elf Louise Christmas Project has been delivering surprises. But it was the elf herself, Louise Locker, who was surprised to learn her nonprofit had more than $4,000 in the state's unclaimed property account.
"Oh, that's exciting, I'm astonished," she said when KSAT 12 News informed her the funds found while searching the state's database at www.claimittexas.org.
More than $25,000 was found for a handful of area nonprofits.
Money for Elf Louise included $2,800 from Coca-Cola, money that had been in the state's unclaimed funds since 2007.
Locker said the money will mean more joy for underprivileged children who receive Christmas gifts though the charity.
"We spend about $8 a toy, so that will get us, oh my gosh, four to five hundred extra toys," she said.
The San Antonio Food Bank will be able to provide more meals with the money it is owed. The Food Bank had $990 in the state kitty.
"Whether a donation from a corporation or individual or found cash, we're going to turn every dollar into seven meals," said Michael Guerra, director of development. "This is the perfect time for it."
Goodwill Industries, which relies on donations to train people with disabilities and other challenges for jobs, had a long list of long lost money. It totaled $9,314.
There was even $1,206 for the San Antonio Zoo, another not-for-profit.
"We'll find a lot of use for $1,200, believe me," said Zoo Director Steve McCusker.
The state's unclaimed property fund has $3 billion in it. It can be from a variety of sources including forgotten bank accounts, utility deposits, commissions and payments that never got delivered, perhaps due to a wrong address.