Teachers have a tough job, not only because they have to deal with a classroom full of kids day in and day out and try to make enough of an impact on them that they learn something, but because they're forced to do it on a budget.
Teachers often shell out hundreds of dollars, if not more, of their own money every year to ensure their classrooms and students have all the tools they need for a successful learning environment.
Kimber Bermudez is a teacher at a close knit charter school in Chicago who was recently on a flight to Florida to visit her parents when her seat mate asked her what she did for a living. "Anyone who knows me knows that I am a talker," she wrote in her now viral and heartwarming Facebook post. Bermudez explained to the man sitting beside her that she is a teacher and when he asked what her greatest challenge was, she explained that she worked at a low income school and that her job was hard because, "in 2018 kids should never be hungry or in need of anything."
The man asked Bermudez for her contact information because his company often donates supplies to schools in need. Surprised, she provided him with her school's email, not expecting what would happen next.
Bermudez writes that the man who was seated behind her then tapped her on the shoulder, apologizing but explaining that he overheard the conversation that Bermudez and her seat mate were having. He then handed her a 'wad of cash' and told her to 'do something amazing' with it.
"He was tapping me, 'Hey I'm sorry for listening' and handed me cash and I was trying to understand what was happening," told NBC Chicago 5. "I heard your story; do something amazing," the man told her. Bermudez was in awe, later realizing that the man had handed her $500! But the generosity hadn't stopped there.
The teacher writes that a man across the aisle also heard her story, and handed her $20. Another man seated in front of her turned around and handed her $10. Overcome with emotion, Bermudez promised the four men she would 'do something amazing' with their generous donations.
"With more resources I will get to do more and the kids will get to do more," she told NBC. "I am just baffled and blown away by all of this."
Bermudez didn't get the names of the men who donated their money, but she wanted to recognize their kindness so she wrote about what happened on Facebook. She hopes she can find out who they are to thank them again for their generosity.
CNN reports that since Bermudez's story went viral, Aceo Schools Chicago has received another $1,500 in donations from good samaritans who've read about or heard Bermudez's story.
“My heart is in complete shock and awe right now,” Bermudez wrote on Facebook. “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.”