There is no such thing as a small act of kindness, and this story about an 84-year old man who helped a bunch of Mesquite students proves just that.
Don Douglas lives down the street from Florence Elementary in Mesquite, Nevada. He was married for 50 years before his wife passed in 2006. Their children and grandchildren went to school at that same elementary, but they are now all grown and gone to live their own lives.
He is legally blind, but with the help of a projector, he still gets to read the newspaper every day. That is where he read the report saying that a lot of local students don’t get enough to eat. Nearly all of the 580 kids in Florence Elementary can’t afford to eat lunch. Some eat for free, while others just pay 40 cents – an amount that some other children still can’t afford.
“It kinda upset me a little,” Don said. “Or maybe a lot.”
After learning of this sad news, Don couldn’t get these hungry children off his mind. It bothered him so much that he went right down to Florence Elementary and demanded to speak with the principal.
“He walked in here and said, ‘I need to see the principal,'” the school’s principal, Ladonna Gulley said. “He was concerned that maybe there were students here at Florence that were not eating. He literally went into his billfold, pulled out $100 and said, ‘I’m giving you this money, and this is to make sure that every single student in your building has the opportunity to eat.'”
That was last August 2018, and Don has been donating every month since.
Don is not a rich man, he survives off social security and the money that he donates come from his retirement. But he says that it’s worth every penny, and that he feels much better knowing that his donations make it possible for the children to have a good, hot meal.
Don really didn’t want to go on camera, saying that he didn’t want recognition for his deeds. But then he paused and asked her, ‘if I do this interview, do you think it will encourage other people to help these kids?’ Gulley smiled and nodded, and Don said he’ll do whatever it takes to inspire other people to donate to the school.
The generous man successfully accomplished his mission. Dozens of people started sending donations, with the others coming from as far as Georgia. Other people gave money to schools in their own towns and cities, and the city even recognized Don with a day in his honor.
Steve Harris, who works for a company called Seeboost, learned of Don’s story. He wanted to pay it forward and knew that they had something that could help the old man. He invited Don to try out their device that helps people see more clearly.
Don got to keep one as a gift, and he was asked what he wanted to see first. Of course, he said he wanted to see the kids that he was helping. Before, he sees them through blurred vision, but now, he would be able to clearly see their faces through the gift of sight that he received.
For the first time in years, Don was able to read a book straight from the pages. He went back to the school and read a story to the eager children of Florence Elementary.
“You’re a beautiful bunch of kids,” he said while fighting back tears. “When I think about the future, I’m not worried because I know you kids are gonna have a great future for all of us. And I thank you for letting me read to you.”
Don’s old age, loss of vision, and financial lack didn’t stop him from helping those children. He only had little, but he was able to use his resources to help other people in need. His story is proof that regardless of our circumstances, we all have something to offer in this world, no matter how big or little.
Watch below the WFAA-TV Channel 8 feature video about this awesome senior citizen making a big difference in this world, no matter the age.