INSIDE EDITION - Yesenia Del Valle said she took out the money order to make her tax payment last Tuesday and lost it on the way home. She didn't expect to see it again.
“It flew away somehow," Del Valle told InsideEdition.com. "I tore my car apart looking everywhere. I thought maybe I left it in the tax office, checking for it there. I was frantic."
But later that night, Del Valle received an unexpected knock on her door.
It was then that Sergio Juarez, who Del Valle did not know, returned the check he’d found underneath his tire earlier that day. The money order had her name and address written on the back of it.
“When he knocked on my door, I never would have imagined it was about the check. I was shocked and wanted to know where he found it,” Del Valle said.
She ran inside to rummage for some cash to give Juarez for his kind deed.
“I got him $40 and I said, 'Here take your wife to Denny’s,'" Del Valle said.
But Juarez commented that he’d be using the money for gas.
“When he said that to me, I realized he must be struggling and I asked him and he said he lives in the Motel 6,” said Del Valle.
She asked for his name and a way to reach Juarez because she knew she had to do something.
“I couldn’t sleep all night thinking about what to do,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that a person in that situation would care to do something so nice when he doesn’t even have money for gas.”
Juarez was living in the motel with his wife, three children, and another child he reportedly took in. He’d lost his job, Del Valle said.
Del Valle decided to start a GoFundMe and snapped a shot of the returned money order.
But, the campaign surpassed her goals after telling a local radio show she and Juarez’s story. The campaign has now raised more than $13,000 and counting.
Del Valle also said she’s gotten people calling her offering Juarez jobs. Restaurants have even called offering meals to the family.
“I reached out and told him what I had done," Del Valle told InsideEdition.com. "His wife was in tears. Their kids are smiling for the first time in months. I told him you don’t need to thank me. I said this is my thank you for you doing the right thing."