A good deed performed by a homeless man at Christmas brought an unexpected reward on Thursday.
Walter Payne volunteered as a night security guard for the Faith and Community Christmas store in Vineyard Community Church on Winchester Road in December.
One night, Payne scared away two would-be burglars breaking into the semi-trailer full of toys for underprivileged families. His good deed was written up in the Herald-Leader, and Jerald Adkins, program manager in charge of collecting back wages for the state Labor Cabinet read the story.
On Thursday, in a quirk of fate, Payne received a check for $2,200 in back wages collected from a job he had in 2004 and 2005.
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The check was delivered by Adkins, state Secretary of Labor J.R. Gray, Deputy Secretary of Labor Mark Brown and Commissioner Michael Dixon. Adkins was able to locate Payne through the Catholic Action Center.
One of the jobs of the Labor Cabinet is to collect back wages for people. Payne's check was held in an escrow account when he could not be located.
Payne said he will use his newfound money to buy an automobile that, in turn, will help him get a job.
"I've had a chance to get jobs, but I needed an automobile," he said. Payne gets to his current job at a car auction company on the bus.
In 2009, the Labor Cabinet collected more than $5.2 million in back wages for employees.