Teacher Overwhelmed by the Kindness of Strangers

Chicago teacher Kimber Bermudez was on a flight to Florida to visit her parents.

In a widely shared Facebook post, she explains how a conversation with the man sitting beside her about her challenging job prompted the generosity of three other passengers who had been listening in. She told him she was a teacher and how much she loved her job teaching her first graders at Carlos Fuentes Charter School.

Almost half of the students at her school have limited English skills and 87% are classified as low income. But, she told the man, about the close-knit community at the charter school and how it eases some of the burdens by providing free breakfast and lunch and after school programs.
“I’m known as a talker,” says Bermudez, “I’m always the one that I will just start talking to anyone. That’s just my personality.”
“When he asked me the greatest challenge that I face, I was honest with him. I told him that working at a low income school can be heartbreaking.”
“We have students who don’t have a bed.” Kimber said that the school provides free breakfast and lunch to hungry students.
The passenger Kim was speaking to took down her email address and told her his company donates to schools like hers.
But it was next that “something amazing” happened. The passenger sitting directly behind her tapped Kimber on the shoulder, apologised for listening in on the conversation and handed her a wad of cash.
“He told me to do ‘something amazing’ and sat back down… 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 the man, but I later found out that he gave me $500.”
But that was not all. As the planed landed, another two gentlemen admitted they had been listening in and handed her $20 and $10.
“I started crying on the plane. I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids.”
The next day, Kim shared her experience on Facebook, which quickly went viral, with the post being shared more than a thousand times.
“I am still in shock. So many people have been trying to speak with me about it.”
“I have never had something like this happen. I will never look at anyone in the same way again. I didn’t know these people and yet they wanted to give towards a worthy cause. It restored my faith in humanity.”
Kimber says she hasn’t spent the money yet but plans to use it on school supplies or put it towards a playground.
She also added that while the gifts were much appreciated, there should be more funding for schools like hers – ” I feel like funding is being spent where it shouldn’t be and children should always be our main priority.”
Although she did not know the stranger who was so generous to her, she said, ” I want the man on the plane to know he has started the most amazing reaction. I wish I could give him a hug. I am forever thankful.”
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