Teacher On A Plane Talked About Her Low-Income Students. Passengers Overheard And Gave Her Over $500 In Cash

July 18, 2018

A teacher in Chicago was on a flight to Florida to visit her parents last week when something truly amazing happened.

Kimber Bermudez says she was chatting with the passenger next to her about her job and was asked what her greatest challenge is when it comes to teaching.

"I was honest with him," she recalled. "I told him that working at a low income school can be heartbreaking."

By the time she got off the plane, Bermudez was in tears and holding over $500 in cash from complete strangers.

teacher of low income students given cash on plane
Credit: Kimber Bermudez

Bermudez shared the story on her Facebook page:

"I write this in awe of my day yesterday. I was sitting next to a kind man on my Southwest flight 1050. He asked me what I did for a living, and anyone who knows me knows that I am a talker. I began telling him how much I love my job. Teaching is my passion. When he asked me the greatest challenge that I face I was honest with him. 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. Then something amazing happened...

The man behind me tapped my shoulder. 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.

Then something even more amazing happened. 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!

My heart is in complete shock and awe right now. 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. I am thankful for the good people in this world. No child should ever go without anything. This experience made me want to do more for the kids, and use my gift of speaking to help others in need. I want to pass this story around, and thank those strangers and their amazing hearts!"

Bermudez told The Washington Post a common complaint from her students is that they can't read at home because they don't have any books. She is planning on using the money to buy books they can keep at home, along with backpacks and other school supplies.

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