“What’s the most challenging part of your job?”The conversation between two strangers traveling in Southwest Airlines flight started with this question and culminated in an unbelievably kind act. Read through this heartwarming story to know more.
Kimber Bermudez is a school teacher who was traveling from Chicago, Illinois, to Jacksonville, Florida. Kimber, who calls herself a ‘talker’ happened to engage in a conversation with the fellow traveler. The man sitting next to her asked her what she was doing for a living. After knowing that she’s a teacher, the man inquired about the challenging aspect of her job.
What Kimber shared next, is something many teachers could relate to. She teaches in Carlos Fuentes Elementary charter school. Many children in this school come from the underprivileged background. They struggle to fulfill their basic needs like books, backpacks and other school supplies. Many of them come hungry to school. She told him about the immigrant parents and their struggle to feed their families.
“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. 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, and then gave him my school email.”
What happened after her sharing the story, was completely unexpected and incredible. The man promised a donation to the school from his company. While she was surprised to hear that, a passenger sitting behind interrupted and offered his contribution.
“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. I was in complete awe that I had touched a stranger. I realized that there was $100 on top, and started to cry. I thanked him and told him how I would buy my students books and give back to the community. I didn’t count the money from that man, but I would later find out that he gave me $500.”
The story doesn’t end here. Her story had touched many hearts…
“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. 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. I started crying on the plane. I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids. 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. I do however hope that posting this continues the chain reaction of people helping those in need, and especially the children in need. It doesn’t have to be a school in Chicago, and any bit helps!”
Kimber was hesitant to take the donation.
“I’m not here to solicit money; I really am here on this plane just to see my parents,” she told them. to which one of the men replied, “I know. That’s why we’re giving it to you. Use your voice. Use your gift of talking.”
Kimber plans of buying books and other school supplies from this money, which usually she would buy from her own money. More than the donations, this incident has strengthened Kimber’s faith in humanity.
“When the world seems crazy there are always good people. I would do anything for my students and want to thank these strangers. I don’t know the name of the man who gave me the $500 or the other generous strangers, but they deserve to be recognized.”
Well, as they say, kindness is not being taught in universities. It is something that comes from within. After all, kindness is not an act; It’s a lifestyle.