Woman’s $676 Check “Flew Away”—Then a Stranger’s Google Search Leads Him to Her House

I know it’s hard to believe some days, but there actually are still good people in this world. People who don’t steal, lie or cheat, and who believe that others should do the same.

Sergio Juarez is one of those people.

The man from San Diego was out for a walk last week when he came across a cashier’s check for $676.

Sergio has been living out of a Motel 6 in the area with his wife and children after both having lost their jobs. $676 could have gone a long way in helping his family—but Sergio didn’t keep it.

Instead, he used the name and address on the check to track down the owner, Yesenia Ortiz-Del Valle, and return it to her home through the help of a Google search.

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Yesenia told the San Diego Union-Tribune that she had intended to use the check to pay state taxes, but then wasn’t able to find it.

“Somehow it flew away,” she told local news. “I was going crazy. Literally, I went home and I was crying.”

She was shocked to see Sergio holding the cashier’s check, and after returning it to her, Yesenia offered him a $40 reward for his honesty and good deed. At first, he declined, but she convinced him to take the money.

“He said to me, ‘I’m going to use this to put gas in my car,’” she told the Union-Tribune.

When she asked Sergio where he lived, he didn’t want to tell her.

“We’ve been homeless for over three years,” Sergio told local news. “There’s a lot of families that are going through what I’m going through. From living in Otay Ranch, nice area, beautiful park, to where you’re living in a hotel.”

It’s no secret that the money would have been a great help to his family. But despite their tough times, Sergio says he never considered keeping the check.

“It’s not my money,” he said. “It’s her money. Whether it’s 25 cents or $4,000, I don’t care what it is, it’s not your money.”

The next day, after meeting on her doorstep, Yesenia decided to launch a GoFundMe campaign for Sergio and his family. She titled it, “We rise by lifting others.”

She wrote on the page that she was touched by Sergio’s actions, and his humble refusal of her reward.

“There’s still a lot of good people in the world and Sergio is a living example.”

Since launching the campaign six days ago, more than 400 people have donated a whopping $13,500—surpassing the original goal of $5,000 with ease.

Sergio and his wife are blown away by the kindness of others, and they know that the Lord’s hand is all over this.

That day, he was my miracle,” Yesenia told local news. “And then I ended up being his miracle.”

Bri Lamm
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Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.