Although teenagers are often negatively stereotyped, they are capable of displaying thoughtfulness beyond what we might expect.
This was demonstrated by three Callisburg High School students from Texas who noticed something disturbing in their school’s hallways. They observed that Mr. James, an 80-year-old janitor, had resumed work after retiring. The reason for his return was that his monthly rent had increased by $400, which exceeded his means.
Mr. James is now among a rising population of elderly individuals who are compelled to continue working in a challenging post-pandemic economy. After learning about the reason behind his return to work, three students named Greyson Thurman, Banner Tidwell, and Marti Yousko decided to take action to assist him.
“It’s just so sad seeing an 80-year-old man having to do things an 80-year-old shouldn’t have to do.” said Banner, a senior at the school.
Greyson promptly created a video featuring Mr. James working in the school hallways, along with a call to action: “Let’s help Mr. James Out!” Additionally, he initiated a GoFundMe campaign titled “Getting Mr. James out of this school.”
The students aimed to collect a modest sum of $10,000, which would aid Mr. James with his rent for a couple of years. However, the internet’s unpredictability came into play, and events unfolded differently than expected. The video quickly became viral, with almost 40,000 views, and the entire school community joined forces to support Mr. James.
“I have 2,000 followers, and that was enough to get the word out,” Greyson reflected.
Within the initial 12 hours of the campaign’s launch online, the targeted $10,000 was successfully collected, and the amount kept increasing every day. At present, they have raised more than $250,000 to assist Mr. James!
Marti, who initially proposed the idea for the GoFundMe campaign on behalf of the janitor, stated, “When we told him, he was kind of like, ‘dang, that’s alright!’”
Greyson added, “Nobody deserves to work their whole life. They deserve to enjoy everything.”
Mr. James hasn’t tendered his resignation and prefers to avoid any public recognition, but he appreciates the students’ attention to his needs and assistance.
School principal Jason Hooper is extremely proud of his students, stating, “Its just amazing. You know of the need that was met because of three kind kids, but of all of our students who have pitched in to help that need.”