Jeanne Croteau

We’re all doing our best, but working in a pandemic is hard. Really hard. It can be tough to find the energy to take care of ourselves, let alone anyone else. Yet, one group of amazing and inspiring teachers dug deep and did something truly good for a coworker. They rallied and raised donations to buy their school custodian a car! Keep reading to learn more about this incredible act of kindness, and then share your own stories!

How school staff bought a car for their custodian

On days when he couldn’t get a ride, Chris Jackson walked about two miles each way to his job as a school custodian. He had been saving up for a car when his living arrangements fell through. Suddenly, he had to move into a motel while he looked for an affordable place to live. “When you hit hard times, sometimes it’s easy to give up faith, but I knew I had to keep trying,” said Jackson. “That’s what I always tell the kids at school, and it’s advice I’ve always tried to follow.”

Several teachers at Unity Grove Elementary in Locust Grove, Ga. discovered that Jackson had been living in a motel and sensed that something was wrong. Even when the weather was hot or rainy, he was walking to school. Special education teacher, Jodi Combs, also heads up the school’s Sunshine Committee. The volunteer group is committed to helping and supporting the staff at their school.

The teachers at Unity Grove got to work right away searching for reliable cars online. First-grade teacher, Megan MacDonald, found a 2005 Chevrolet Impala and then asked for donations in a private Facebook group. In less than an hour, they had enough money to buy the car and cover a few months of insurance as well as the license plates!

“It was a grass-roots effort, and it was really heartwarming to see everyone come forward so quickly to make Chris’s dream happen,” she said. “Everyone at school thinks highly of Chris — there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for any of us when we need help in the classroom or cafeteria.”

Why acts of kindness mean so much

Every day, we should always try to engage in acts of kindness. Paying for the order behind you at the drive-thru. Checking in on elderly neighbors. Offering to babysit for new parents who need a break. These moments are so important to our emotional health and sense of well-being.

One Japanese study found that we become happier by showing kindness to others. These acts also help us become more empathetic, compassionate, and grateful. As a result, this boosts our feelings of interconnectedness and promotes a sense of community. This is something our world and our schools need today and every day.

What acts of kindness have you seen at your school? Share your thoughts with our community.

Photo Credit: WXIA





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