Car wash employee finds and returns stranger's lost IRS stimulus check

Published: May. 21, 2020 at 6:15 PM EDT
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Many people have been waiting on their COVID-19 stimulus checks and wondering where they are. One man found out where his was and couldn’t believe it.

At Evans Street Car Wash, Antonio Hernandez was just doing his job when he came across some very expensive trash: a $1,200 IRS stimulus check.

And the man who it belonged to had no idea it was there.

“I never thought I was going to get a check, because of moving in the past year and my address not changing, and out of the blue Michelle (Alvarez) told me she found it at this car wash,” said Charles Thompson of Greenville.

But Thompson did get a check. It just, somehow, ended up in a car wash trash can, and the rest is history.

Antonio Hernandez and his daughter, Michelle Alvarado, were able to track down Thompson and get the check back to him. A check that, quite frankly, couldn't have come at a better time for him.

“I was behind on rent, I work construction so I work by the day, and I just try to keep going and going as best I can,” said Thompson, “and that money helped put me ahead and put me on the right track a little bit, to get back on my feet.”

The check was a dream come true for the Army veteran who's been trying to get back into the swing of daily life for a while.

“It's just been not easy, and it's not easy for a lot of veterans; we just don't like to talk about it a lot. It's the little things like that that kind of make you emotional.”

Hernandez and Alvarado said they’re just happy they could help.

“It was very important for him to receive that check. Especially in these uncertain times, of course we would have given it to him,” said Alvarado, “and we're very happy that he has the check now.

Thompson said the circumstances were nothing short of a miracle.

From my old apartment, to the trash can, to a great person like Michelle Alvarado and her father finding it,” said Thompson, “and Michelle doing the leg work to find me, I mean, what else do you call that?”