Act of kindness leads to creation of San Diego non-profit

Posted at 4:19 PM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 19:20:11-04

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) --The homeless man who returned hundreds of dollars to a San Diego woman is now helping her reach more San Diegans in need. 

Sergio Juarez tracked down Yesenia Del Valle after finding nearly $2,000 in money orders on the street that she lost on tax day.

ORIGINAL STORY:  Good samaritan gets help he desperately needs

Since then, Del Valle has raised more than $20,000 via GoFundMe for Juarez and his family. They have been homeless for three years and were living out of a motel.

Wednesday, they attended an event at El Pollo Grill in Bonito where they were presented with the check.

“I feel warm in my heart from everything that has happened,” Juarez said.

Juarez and his family were able to use the money to move into a rental home. He says the back porch is his favorite spot. 

“I just love barbecuing and we love eating out here," he said. "So this is my favorite place because it gives me peace."

Juarez also says he loves the kitchen because his wife finally has a place to cook again.

“My kids, they can go in the fridge and get something to eat. There’s actually something in the refrigerator. There’s something in the cupboards,” Juarez said. “It’s just, it’s just like I can actually take a walk in the morning and not feel an anxiety attack. I get anxiety attacks. I can actually take a walk with my dogs and not feel fear.”

Besides helping present the GoFundMe check, Del Valle also kicked off her non-profit RISE and SHINE SD. She says it's her goal to help other people like the Juarez family to get back on their feet.


“I can’t stop [with the Juarez family], I have to help other families,” Del Valle said. "It wasn’t intended. You know it just happened and that’s what’s so special about it.”

Juarez says his wife has found a job, and the next step to getting back to a normal life is to find a job for him.

“We as a family, where we were and where we are today, I want to encourage a lot of families who are struggling that it’s not over," he said. “If we did just a little act of kindness, just something, act of kindness a day, it makes a big difference for somebody else."

“As time goes by, the more I realize it was a miracle,” Del Valle said. “Trickling down to other small miracles all around.”

if you need help, more information, or want to volunteer for RISE and SHINE SD, you can e-mail