Airplane Passengers Overhear Teacher Talking About Her Low-Income School, Awesomeness Ensues

by Jerriann Sullivan
Originally Published: 
Images via Kimberly Bermudez/Facebook

Teacher shared experiences of working in a low-income school

A teacher was handed more than $500 in cash from fellow passengers on a flight after she shared her experiences of working in a low-income school. Chicago schoolteacher Kimberly Bermudez was shocked when the passengers around her handed over hundreds of dollars, but she’s committed to making sure the money goes directly to her students.

Bermudez was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida when the man sitting next to her struck up a conversation. “He asked me what I did for a living, and anyone who knows me knows that I am a talker. I began telling him how much I love my job. Teaching is my passion,” she wrote in a Facebook post that has now gone viral. “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 talked about the world and how no child should ever do without. In 2018 kids should never be hungry or in need of anything,” Bermudez added.

Bermudez is a first-grade teacher at Carlos Fuentes Elementary, a school in a low-income area. Some students are homeless, the Washington Post reported. After hearing about her experiences, her seat-mate wanted to help. “He asked for my work contact information and told me that his company likes to donate items, time, etc. for schools such as mine. I was not intending for him to say that,” she wrote. But before the flight landed Bermudez would be given several cash donations to help her and the other teachers at the school buy crucial supplies for the students.

Bermudez explained how the fantastic act of kindness happened, “The man behind me tapped my shoulder. I turned around, and he apologized for listening in to my conversation, and he handed me a wad of cash. He told me to ‘do something amazing’ and sat back down,” she explained. Flights are known for making people cranky and rude, so naturally, the school teacher was blown away by the stranger’s kindness. But then several other strangers jumped on the giving train and handed over cash for school supplies, too. “The plane landed, and the man on the aisle across from me told me that he listened as well. He said that he didn’t have much, but he gave me $20,” she wrote. “As if my heart couldn’t be any happier the man in front turns around as well. He also handed me money and said that he only had $10.”

At this point, Bermudez did what most of us would do – shed a few happy tears. “I started crying on the plane. I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids,” she wrote. Together, the men donated more than $500. “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,” Bermudez said. “I do however hope that posting this continues the chain reaction of people helping those in need, and especially the children in need.”

Since her story went viral, Bermudez took to Facebook again to share information on how others can donate funds or supplies to her students. “When the world seems crazy there are always good people,” she wrote. “I am thankful for the good people in this world. No child should ever go without anything.”

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