Hopeful Hoosier shares stimulus check with local businesses

Published: Apr. 19, 2020 at 5:56 PM EDT
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An anonymous Mishawaka retiree is splitting their stimulus check with 16 of their favorite local businesses.

Diner on 12th in Mishawaka, and Maxi's Food & Spirits Barn in South Bend are two of them.

But who's behind it all?

"I have no idea. None. Somebody from Mishawaka," Maxi's Food & Spirits Barn owner Barb Court told 16 News Now Sunday.

Kate Sergeant, owner of Diner on 12th, says she too is struggling to figure out who is behind this generous gesture.

"Did you expect anything like that at all?," 16 News Now asked. "Absolutely not," Sergeant said.

Court says she received a handwritten envelope Saturday morning with a letter and a money order inside.

"I got the mail yesterday and there was a handwritten envelope, which is unusual, and I opened it up and their was a computer printed letter and it just said he got his stimulus check and he divided it between 16 of his favorite establishments," Court said.

On the same morning, Sergeant says she too received a letter.

"The person said they are retired, they have a good pension and social security, and they did not need the money the stimulus package had nicely given to them," Sergeant said.

Oddly enough, the bottom of the letter didn't reveal a name but something else.

"They called themselves...I believe it was a 'Hopeful Hoosier in Mishawaka' Indiana,'" Sergeant said.

Sergeant says the letter touched her heart.

"I'm not going to lie, the tears started," Sergeant said.

The tears did not stop there though. Court says she also was emotional upon reading the letter.

"I was in awe and then I cried," Court said. "It just touched me on the day I need that random act of kindness."

Sergeant says life at the restaurant has been stale recently. The restaurant is only open to drive-thru and catering customers. However, right when she felt everything was falling down, this "Hopeful Hoosier" picked her right back up.

"All I can tell them is thank you from the bottom of my heart," Sergeant said. "I mean, I was really down in the dumps. It's a small sum, but it was huge."

It's a sum of $75 made out to each one of his favorite 16 businesses.

Court's daughter, Katie Court Van Tornhout, says she was overjoyed to find out Maxi's was one of them.

"For someone to take time out of their day and think of us...out of all the businesses, out of anybody and they chose Maxi's," Tornhout said.

"A ray of hope" is what Sergeant says best describes the letter. For Court, it's an amazing gesture that remains a mystery.

"I don't know if he'll ever tell us who he is but it's an awful nice gesture," Court said.

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