A Virginia man said he donated his entire $1,200 stimulus check to a stranger because it would have been “selfish” of him to keep it.
Cameron Crockett, 31, of Chesapeake, served eight years in jail after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the death of his best friend in a 2008 drunk driving crash.
Crockett, who works as a HVAC technician, maintains he is innocent and was wrongfully convicted, but told WAVY that the experience taught him a lot.
“It taught me no matter what your circumstances may be, there’s always somebody out there whose circumstances are worse than yours,” Crockett told the station.
“While I could have held on to the money to try and buy a house or put it toward any number of things, I think it would be selfish of me to do that when I have friends out there who are faced with the very real threat of not being able to maintain a roof over their heads at all.”
Crockett took to Facebook last month to announce he would be donating his check from the government—given to eligible Americans as a part of a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package—to one randomly selected person who has been left out of work due to the shutdown.
He wrote that he decided to do so because as an essential worker, he hasn’t lost his income like millions of Americans.
“I am thankful that my line of work makes me ‘essential’ in these times,” he wrote. “Could I use the $1,200? Of course. Who couldn’t? I am doing this for two reasons.
“One, people more deeply affected by the crisis need it more than me, plain and simple. And two, I want to show in my own little way that we the people are far greater than our representatives in Washington.”
He added: “Damn near every one of them is a millionaire, and they squabble over what tiny crumbs to throw under the table to us while other, less economically powerful countries are going all out for their people. We must never forget that it is our friends, family, and community that matter most. We can count on each other when our leaders consistently fail us.”
In an update on Sunday, Crockett revealed he was donating his check to Aries Ziegler.
“Now my brother can keep hanging tight while this mess drags on,” Crockett wrote. “I wish I had the money to help everyone, but I’m happy to know my check went to a good, genuine soul. This is what true community looks like.”
Crockett was freed from prison last year after being sentenced to eight years for involuntary manslaughter in 2012.
According to his website, Crockett is appealing his conviction and maintains another person was behind the wheel of his car when it crashed on the night of December 28 in 2008, killing his friend Jack Korte.
WTKR reported in 2016 that crucial evidence in the form of a seat belt test was never presented to jurors during Crockett’s trial. Crockett has been contacted for additional comment.