Three high school students in Callisburg, Texas, helped out a struggling custodian in a really special way.
Once the Callisburg High School students learned that Mr. James un-retired in January after he was having a hard time paying his bills, they set up a GoFundMe page on Feb. 15, to help the 80-year-old janitor out.
“At first, the goal was $10,000 — and we know that $10,000 really isn’t anything these days — but we’re hoping that whatever we can get can give him a little bit more cushion,” senior Marti Yousko told NBC affiliate KTEN.
Principal Jason Hooper told the station that he knew that Mr. James was having a hard time as well.
“He shared with me his rent within a year has gone up nearly $400, and he just couldn’t afford to continue paying without going back to work,” he explained.
So everyone started to pitch in, especially the kids who saw him working again after they knew that he had already retired.
“When I saw him in the hall, it broke my heart,” senior Greyson Thurman said. “Nobody at that age should be working; they should be living the rest of their life, you know?”
Thurman also posted a TikTok video of Mr. James working in the halls of his school. On top of the video, he explained the janitor's situation and wrote, "Let's help Mr. James out!"
Thurman captioned the clip, "My classmates and I hate seeing Mr. James here, no one his age should have to be cleaning our messes up to continue to live."
One week after setting up the GoFundMe page, the three students learned that they had surpassed their goal, raising a total of $270,905 for Mr. James.
Thurman later thanked everyone who donated money.
"He is VERY appreciative of everyone willing to give up their time to help him out and change his life," Thurman wrote on the GoFundMe page. "You all have shown what can happen when everyone gets together to help others!!! I think God did this to show that no matter how much evil there is good will always show it’s self! Mr. James thanks you all!! God bless yall!"
On Feb. 24, the campaign stopped accepting donations.