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Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight stepped in to help one teacher after she explained the struggles her students faced at school.

*Featured image contains photo by Natã Romualdo

Teachers do so much for their students: They teach valuable lessons, explain hard concepts, and inspire their students on a daily basis. In underprivileged communities, teachers often help in additional ways, like reaching into their own wallets so their students can have a cafeteria meal or school supplies.

Kimber Bermudez taught at Carlos Fuentes Elementary, a school on the northwest side of Chicago, where most of her students came from predominantly low-income families.

Her job was a big part of her life and something she often discussed with others. That’s how it became the topic of conversation between Bermudez and the passenger beside her on a flight to Florida.

“I have been known as a talker since I was a child,” she told NBC 5.

The Miracle That Took Place On A Southwest Airlines Flight

plane in the sky
Photo by Ross Parmly on Unsplash

On Southwest flight 1050, Bermudez told her neighbor about her work at the charter school in Avondale neighborhood.

“He said, ‘What do you do?’ I said, ‘I am a teacher’ and he asked where,” Bermudez said. “He said, ‘What is your greatest struggle?’ And I started talking about our school and the amazing educators here.”

Bermudez told the man next to her about the struggles the children dealt with, such as not having enough money to buy school supplies. In those situations, the teachers at her school used their own money to help their students pay.

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“We talked about the world and how no child should ever do without,” she said. “In 2018, kids should never be hungry or in need of anything.”

It just so happened that Bermudez’s neighbor worked for a company that donated items to schools-in-need. He asked her for her information so that he could organize a donation to her school.

“I was not intending for him to say that, and then gave him my school email,” she said. “Then something amazing happened.”

Why Passengers On A Flight Gave A Teacher $530

The man behind Bermudez tapped her on the shoulder and interrupted her conversation. He apologized for eavesdropping, then handed a wad of cash to Bermudez. While she struggled to understand exactly what was happening, the man said one last thing.

“I heard your story; do something amazing,” the man told her.

Bermudez only found out later that he had given her $500.

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She promised to use the money to buy her students books, but that wasn’t the only cash coming her way. As the plane landed, the man sitting across from Bermudez gave her $20 and the man in front of her handed her another $10.

“I started crying on the plane,” she said. “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.”

Bermudez knew that $530 could do a lot for the children in her classroom. “With more resources I will get to do more and the kids will get to do more,” she said. “I am just baffled and blown away by all of this.” 

How Strangers Proved The Importance Of Helping A Person In Need

person counting money
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

She posted about the incident on her Facebook account, which garnered hundreds of views, with the hope that others would see the kindness in the world and decide to also give back to those in need.

“I do however hope that posting this continues the chain reaction of people helping those in need, and especially the children in need,” she wrote. “It doesn’t have to be a school in Chicago, and any bit helps!”

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Though she doesn’t know the names of any of the passengers who gave her money, she hoped that the Facebook post would help her find these strangers so she could properly thank them.

“My heart is in complete shock and awe right now,” she wrote. “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.”

Bermudez explained to others how she helps children around her, which then inspired them to help, too. One act of kindness led to more, creating a chain reaction of compassion. So perform an act of kindness whenever you can because it will impact the world tenfold.

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help people in need
“People appreciate and never forget that helping hand especially when times are tough.” – Catherine Pulsifer