Honesty is always the best policy, especially in this case. Sergio Juarez found a $676 cashier’s check lying in the street and returned it to its owner. The owner, learning her Good Samaritan was unemployed, then set up a GoFundMe Campaign for Juarez, looking for $5,000 to help get the family an apartment, but it has already brought in $14,000.

Cashier’s check was intended for state taxes

Yesenia Ortiz-Del Valle was the owner of that cashier’s check. She told the San Diego Union-Tribute that she was going to use it to pay state taxes, but then lost it a week ago.

She said she was going crazy and that when she realized the check was gone, she went home and started crying. A short time later she got a knock at her door. It was Juarez, who found Ortiz-Del Valle’s name and address on the check and decided to return it to her. She offered the Good Samaritan a $40 reward for his kindness, which Juarez initially turned down, but later told her he was going to use it to buy gas for his car. Ortiz-Del Valle asked him where he lived, but he reportedly didn’t want to tell her.

Good Samaritan down on his luck

It turned out that Juarez is living with his wife and children in a Motel 6 in Imperial Beach, after the couple both lost their jobs and their home.

He had previously worked as a custodian at the Chula Vista South Western College. He told KGTV that the family has been homeless for more than three years and that many families are going through the same experience. They had previously lived in Otay Ranch, which he said was a nice area with a beautiful park, but now they are homeless and living in a hotel.

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When asked if he had considered keeping the cashier’s check, Juarez said no, it doesn't matter how much the check was for, it wasn’t his money.

The kindness of strangers to a Good Samaritan

Having heard Juarez’s story, Ortiz-Del Valle created the GoFundMe campaign the next day, asking people to help an honest man in need. By Wednesday morning the campaign raised almost $14,000.

Besides the money offered to the Good Samaritan, several companies offered Juarez job interviews, while a dentist offered the family free treatment. A woman in Illinois, after reading of their plight, offered to send the family clothing. His three high-school children were offered a ride to the prom by a limo company.

Juarez took to Facebook to share his experience, thanking everyone who helped and offering advice to other people who are down on their luck. On Saturday he posted a video to Ortiz-Del Valle’s Facebook page, saying he promises to pray for everyone who donated to the GoFundMe campaign. He added that people should just keep their families together and keep going, taking things one day at a time like he does.