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89-year-old crossing guard and an elderly crossing guard hugging a little kid.

School Honors Elderly Crossing Guard With Retirement Party

GMA and WPVI-TV
Uplifting News

Elderly​ Crossing Guard Retires After 47 Years - So Students Plan a Surprise

After almost half a century, this crossing guard hung up her sign.

Most of us remember the fixtures at our schools growing up. Sometimes it’s a teacher. Other times, it’s a janitor or cook. And in the case of this elementary school in Abington, Pennsylvania, it’s an 89-year-old crossing guard.


Retiring From the Job

A crossing guard hugs a child

Dorothy "Miss Dottie" Kalkbrenner retires after 47 years

WPVI-TV


Dorothy “Miss Dottie” Kalkbrenner has helped thousands of kids cross the street over her 47-year career as the crossing guard at Highland Elementary School. She got into the job almost five decades ago when she decided to try something new, and she’s enjoyed helping kids get to school safely ever since.

“The traffic is horrendous; it’s been getting more and more each time. But most of the people, if I have my sign up, they obey it so it’s not too bad,” she told WPVI-TV.

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. So at 89 years old, Kalkbrenner decided this was her last school year on duty. After all, she’s turning 90 this summer.

“It’s time for me to retire and take part in where I live,” she explained to the publication. “I enjoyed it so much and I’m going to miss it, I’ll miss all the kids… It kind of makes you almost cry because you won’t get to see them again.”

A Surprise Send-Off

During her final week this past June, the school’s staff and students decided to give the beloved figure a proper send-off with a retirement party. They showered her with handmade cards, and Abington Township even awarded her a Certificate of Commendation for her years of service.

Kalkbrenner added that she’ll miss the kids and never quite realized how many there were until she was met with so many faces at the party that day.

“I just appreciate it so much that Highland School did this [for] me,” she told the news outlet. “It was just overwhelming… it's such a full auditorium with all the kids. It was amazing.”

Making a Difference

Miss Dottie is proof that you don’t have to have a glamorous job or a ton of money to make a real difference and that when it comes to the community, you get what you put in. For nearly half a century, this woman was happy helping kids cross the street and get to school safely, and when it came time to retire, her entire community recognized her for her years of dedication and service.

It’s a nice reminder for anyone seeking purpose or meaning in life. Sometimes, the small things make the biggest difference in another person’s day, and you might not even realize your impact until much later.

So, no matter what your corner of the world may look like, find a way to make a slight difference. That could be volunteering, taking on a job with social impact, or even donating a few dollars to a worthy cause when you’ve got some change.

It’s those small things that make a collective difference and help give us all meaning in the long run.

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