A teacher on an airplane spoke about her low-income students. Passengers overheard and gave him over $ 500


On a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida last week, her seatmate asked Kimberly Bermudez what she does for a living. What happened next surprised her

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Chicago schoolteacher Kimberly Bermudez has always been the talkative type.

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So when she was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida to visit her parents last week, and her seat mate asked her what she does for a living, she told him about her first graders, some of whom are homeless, all of whom come from low-income families.

He asked her, “What is the hardest part of your job? “

When children come to school hungry, she says, and seeing hard-working immigrant parents struggle to meet their families’ basic needs.

“You can’t control what’s going on at home,” Bermudez, 27, said in an interview with the Washington Post, recalling what she told him. “These parents are amazing. They will not eat to feed their child.

The seat neighbor responded that her company donates to schools like hers, and she said enthusiastically that her charter school, Carlos Fuentes Elementary, would welcome her. All teachers and school administrators go out of their pocket to help children with whatever they need – underwear, soap, school supplies – because of their attention, she said.

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A moment later, she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned to see the man sitting in the row behind her, who had a baby in his lap.

He apologized for listening. Then he handed her a stack of money.

“Do something amazing,” he told her.

These parents are amazing. They will not eat to feed their child

Bermudez looked down and saw a $ 100 bill on it. She remembered her babysitting days when her parents said never to count money in front of anyone. She accepted the gift and thanked him. She felt her eyes fill with tears.

“I said, ‘You have no idea what that means. Whether it’s books or backpacks, I’ll make sure I give the kids something, ”she said.

As the plane landed in Jacksonville, a man in the aisle across from her told her that he was also listening to her conversation.

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He said he didn’t have a lot of money on him but handed him $ 20.

Then a third contributor: “As if my heart couldn’t be happier, the man in front has also turned,” Bermudez said.

He said all he had was $ 10, and he gave it to her.

She began to cry in gratitude.

“I said, ‘I’m not here to ask for money; I’m really here on this plane just to see my parents, ”she recalls. “And one of them said,” I know. That’s why we’re giving it to you. Use your voice. Use your gift of speaking. “

Bermudez got off the plane, almost dazed. She had no idea how much money she was holding.

Her mother picked her up from the curb, and when she got into her mother’s car, she counted the money: five $ 100 bills, one $ 20 bill, and one $ 10 bill.

She had $ 530, all donated by nice strangers, all to help the kids she loves.

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“I was like, ‘Oh, my god, oh, my god,'” she said. “I’m still processing it. “

I would never expect a complete stranger to have so much money on him

Bermudez was not only shocked by the generosity of her fellow travelers, but also surprised by something else.

“My generation, we don’t have cash,” she said. “I would never expect a complete stranger to have so much money on him.”

She posted her story on Facebook, where she was liked by over 1,000 people and shared nearly 800 times. Some of his parents’ friends saw the message and sent him supplies and books for his students.

Bermudez said she plans to use the money to buy books for her students, many of whom are emerging readers, so they can keep them at home. She said a common complaint from her students is that they don’t read at home because they’ve already read the few books they have in their homes. She said their favorites are the classics by Dr. Seuss, as well as the books Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems.

She is also considering purchasing backpacks and other school supplies for her students.

As for the man who gave her the stack of hundred dollar bills, it remains a mystery.

“I have no idea who he is,” Bermudez said. “He was just an incredible stranger.”

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