Employees and parents at the Farmington Elementary School in Germantown, Tennessee all pulled together to thank the school custodian with one huge surprise.
According to WMC5, faculty and parents started a GoFundMe in Robert Reed’s name and managed to raise 7,000 in less than 24 hours to go toward him buying a brand new truck.
The kind gesture started when coworkers noticed that Reed, who had been working at the school for about four months, didn’t have a car. And while he works hard at the school, he worked even harder to be there, taking multiple buses and walking two miles each way just to get there on time, only to repeat the trek on the way back home.
“Let’s say I get off at 3 p.m.,” Reed told the news station. “Then I get home around 7 p.m…I have to catch three buses and walk two miles. All the teachers have taken me to the bus stop. They even gave me money when I didn’t have any. I’m telling you, Farmington is a family here.”
That “family” showed up and showed out when they surprised Reed on Wednesday.
“His work ethic is unbelievable and we want our kids to pick up on that, not only to have a good work ethic but also if you see someone in need, try to help. It’s important to do that,” teacher Elizabeth Malone told the news station.
The GoFundMe described Reed as a hard worker who “LOOKS for jobs to do around the school after he has completed his daily tasks,” and “always has a smile on his face.”
“Mr. Robert adds a little sunshine to our school with his smile and his exemplary work ethic,” the post continued. “We want to make life a little easier by providing him a used, reliable truck.
Now, two days since being posted, the GoFundMe has raised more than $23,000, smashing its goal of $10,000 out of the park.
According to WREG, Reed hopes that a truck can help him with a side business he plans to start working on yards.
“I love these people up here,” Reed said. “I love them. I couldn’t have made it without them. Yes, it’s a joy to work here. Joy. Pure joy.”