Teaching is one of the most challenging and stressful profession in this world. It is a job meant only for those with a strong mind and a dedicated heart. A teacher’s job does not end with the string of paper works and actual teaching. Beyond class hours, a teacher still deals with the parents and the students to help them out.
Kimber Bermudez, a hardworking teacher of Carlos Fuentes Elementary School in Chicago understands this very well. The teacher was looking forward to spend time with her family, when she met a curious man during her flight from Chicago, Illinois to Jacksonville, Florida. The man asked an interesting question about her bread and butter, which she answered graciously.
“He said, ‘What do you do?’ I said, ‘I am a teacher’ and he asked where,” Ms. Kimber recalled the conversation she had with the man he sat with. “He said, ‘What is your greatest struggle?’ And I started talking about our school and the amazing educators here.”
Among the fair share of difficulties she struggled with as a teacher is how her heart ached for her students. Ms. Kimber is a faculty of a low-income elementary school in which most students are financially challenged. This means that most of the students studying in their school could not afford the supplies they need for studying. In order to help their students, most of the time, she and her co-teachers shell out money out of their own pockets.
“We talked about the world and how no child should ever do without,” Ms. Kimber shared on her Facebook post. “In 2018, kids should never be hungry or in need of anything.”
After hearing about the needs of the students, the man she was conversing with asked for her contact and school information since his company donates school items for low-income schools.
“I was not intending for him to say that, and then gave him my school email. Then something amazing happened…” Ms. Kimber continued on her Facebook post.
As it turned out, during her conversation with her seatmate, the man sitting behind her overheard their conversation and could not help but feel for the students. The man tapped her and quickly apologized for the unintentional eavesdropping before insisting financial help for the kids’ supplies.
“He told me to ‘do something amazing’ and sat back down. I was in complete awe that I had touched a stranger. I realized that there was $100 on top, and started to cry. I thanked him and told him how I would buy my students books and give back to the community. I didn’t count the money from that man, but I would later find out that he gave me $500.” Ms. Kimber recalled the generosity she received from the kind stranger.
But that’s not the only amazing thing that happened during Ms. Kimber’s flight. As a testament that kindness is everywhere, other people also offered what they have in order to help the students cope with their educational needs.
When the plane landed to their destination, the man sitting on the aisle across from Ms. Kimber also reached out to her. He said that he also happened to overhear their conversation. And though he did not have much money, he handed her $20 that is intended to help out her students. Another man who was sitting in front of her also turned around and donated money as well. The man may only have $10 but his desire to help the students is immeasurable.
Overwhelmed by the amount of people who are more than willing to help, Ms. Kimber found herself crying tears of joy. “I started crying on the plane. I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids. I was not telling my story to solicit money, and never intended to walk out of that flight with anything other than my carry on.”
Ms. Kimber shared her plans about the donated money entrusted to her. Aside from books, she would also buy backpacks and other learning supplies for her students.
“I do however hope that posting this continues the chain reaction of people helping those in need, and especially the children in need. It doesn’t have to be a school in Chicago, and any bit helps!” Ms. Kimber added on her Facebook post. True to her heart’s desire, her post triggered a chain reaction that encompasses what she had witnessed during her flight.
Her Facebook post which became viral and garnered thousand of likes and shares caught the attention of people online, news outlet, and organizations as well. In fact, because of her inspiring and heartwarming story, another foundation decided to help Ms. Kimber and her school by donating free school supplies.
The Kids in Need Foundation donated more than $300,000 worth of school supplies to Carlos Fuentes Charter School. The non-profit organization donated 133,000 crayons, 3 tons of papers, 5,000 books for their classroom libraries, 33,000 pencils, and craft items such as glue sticks, sticks, tapes, and bundles of yarn.
“We need donations in order to thrive at a school,” Ms. Kimber shared in one of her interviews. “Education is expensive. It’s nice to have these books, and it’s nice get to have one less thing that a parent has to buy.”
Ms. Kimber is thankful for the people who helped and donated to the school and the students. For some, the school supplies may not mean much, but for her and the students, it keeps their desire for a brighter future burning.
“My heart is in complete shock and awe right now. When the world seems crazy there are always good people. I would do anything for my students, and want to thank these strangers. I don’t know the name of the man who gave me the $500 or the other generous strangers, but they deserve to be recognized. I am thankful for the good people in this world.”
Ms. Kimber’s inspiring story only goes to show that the world is still full of people with a golden heart. That there are still people whose hearts are not numb to feel for others. That there are still a lot of people who are always willing to help.
Watch the heartwarming video below and see how Ms. Kimber’s teaching experience triggered an awesome and inspiring chain of kind reaction!
Video | Kids In Need Foundation