PLAINFIELD — It's possible to be rewarded for doing what some would consider a regular chore.
I got a text from two grandparents in Plainfield. They wanted to share a great find that will have you looking different at every vehicle you own — and remind us that something ordinary can turn out to be extraordinary.
Take it to heart, an envelope can change your life whether it arrives in a mailbox or you accidentally find one like 9-year-old Landon Melvin.
"I was cleaning my dad's car when I looked under the floorboard and I found a package. I told my dad and he said 'whatever,'" Landon said.
"I was like he's nine. You found something, OK? No, dad, I really did. I walk over. I think it's paperwork of some sort," Michael Melvin said.
The Melvins purchased a Chevy Suburban in September. With five kids, life is busy. Family is first and cleaning under the floorboards wasn't a priority until Landon's discovery.
"I look at him and run inside. I go upstairs. I start calling my wife, 'Hey, babe, you got to check this out!'" Michael said. "And that's when we dump it on the bed and money falls over the bed."
The envelope was packed with checks and $5,000 in cash. The money belonged to a family in South Carolina. In 2019, they drove to Florida for a cruise and forgot where they placed the money.
"Woo-hoo! We're $5,000 richer! That never crossed my mind, Mr. Sanchez. It never crossed my mind. I immediately thought, 'Who does this belong to?'" Michael said.
The owners of the cash would only accept the money if Landon received $1,000 for his good deed.
What is a 9-year-old going to do with $1,000?
"I have no idea. It's upstairs in my mom's room. I'm thinking of all things I can buy," Landon said.
So, lesson learned, dad. Always check the floor mats.
"Check floor mats, always. Mr. Sanchez, I will tell you this. We went back out and checked all the rest of the floor mats. What else is hidden in these vehicles? I will check," Michael said. "People were like, 'It didn't happen.' I have the pictures to prove it. It actually happened."
It did for a 9-year-old who will never say no to cleaning a car.