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5,000 reasons to do the right thing

Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

What would you do if you found found $5,000? Gil Hernandez of Woodstock did “the right thing.”

Hernandez has worked at Aeroseal Solutions in Crystal Lake for the past two years, cleaning and sealing air ducts in homes throughout McHenry County and beyond. On Thursday he was at a house in Elgin, talking about what he discovered in a dusty basement in Crystal Lake recently.

Spring is a popular time of year to get ducts clean, and Hernandez has been busy lately.

“I was sealing the duct system that day,” he said. “Part of my job is to go everywhere in the duct system and make sure there are no gaps, and sealing them with aluminum caulk.

“Usually the basement is dark and dusty.”

He made his way to the trunk line. “On top of that there was something. It was dark so I used a flashlight and I saw a bunch of money – 100s and 50s.”

He said the bills were stacked neatly, but covered in dust. It looked like the money had been there a long time.

“So, I was going to call the supervisor, but it was weird. The owner of the company ... stopped on the job site with two co-workers. It was the first time he stopped at one of my jobs. He asked a couple questions about the sealing.

“I said, ‘oh, you saved me he time to call my supervisor,’” Hernandez said. “I showed him the money and asked him to give it to the homeowner.” And that’s what he did.

“I didn’t count it, but they told me later it was $5,000,” Hernandez said.

“One of the owners of the company said he was proud of me, and he was proud that I was working for them,” he said.

Hernandez said nothing like this has ever happened to him before. “I’d find dollars, five-dollar bills, but I’d always give back to the customer,” he said. “I never imagined finding that much money.

“It wasn’t my money. I just wanted to do the right thing, and I feel fine with that,” Hernandez said. The homeowners did not want to be identified.

Hernandez said most important was this was a good lesson for his children, ages 13 and 16.

“It was nothing major, it was nothing, but I love that they can hear that their father did something right,” he said.

“They were so happy that I did he right thing.”

• Email ccashman@shawmedia.com

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