A group of Texas high school students came to the aid of a school custodian who had to come out of retirement due to financial strain.
A formerly retired man known as Mr. James, 80, took a job as a custodian at Callisburg High School in Callisburg, Texas, after his rent shot up by $400, KDFW reported.
“It’s just so sad seeing an 80 year old man having to do things an 80 year old shouldn’t have to do.” KXII quoted Banner Tidwell, a senior at the school, as saying.
The outlet reported the three seniors set up a GoFundMe page to raise enough money to allow Mr. James to return to retirement.
A description for the fundraiser, titled “Getting Mr. James out of this school,” reads, “Hey guys I’m having a fundraiser for our janitor who is struggling to pay his rent. He had to leave retirement to continue to pay his rent that was raised. Just a little will change his life!!
Greyson Thurman, who is listed on the GoFundMe page as the organizer, explained he used his social media following to promote the page, per KXII.
The GoFundMe raised over $10,000 in the first 12 hours and just under $29,000 by February 17, per KWII.
In a week, total donations had exceeded $160,000, per KDFW.
As of Friday, the page has collected nearly a quarter million dollars in donations.
“Thanks so much to everyone that has donated and spread the word to help Mr. James. You all have made a huge impact on him that will forever change his life,” a Friday update reads.
While KDFW reported Mr. James hasn’t yet returned to retirement, the success of the fundraiser has been astounding.
“It’s crazy to see something that, we knew people would have wanted to help,” said one of the students, Marti Yousko, said, per KWII. “But we didn’t know it would blow up.”
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