Thanks to these ingenious students, this senior won’t have to work again!

Get ready for a feel-good story that will leave you smiling for days!

Our story begins with an elderly high school janitor who had no choice but to come out of his retirement to afford an increase in his rent. 

In January, Callisburg High School Janitor Mr. James, aged 80, returned to work as a janitor in Callisburg, Texas. Despite having already started his retirement, James’ rent went up an unexpected $400 per month and the only way he could afford the unexpected bills was to go back to work.

Students at Callisburg High were saddened to see the return of the elderly janitor, with student Greyson Thurman saying that “(my) classmates and I hate seeing Mr. James here. No one his age should have to be cleaning our messes up to continue to live.” 

The Students Jump Into Action

The considerate student decided to start a GoFundMe in support of his school’s janitor. Titled Getting Mr. James Out Of This School, organizer Greyson Thurman remarked that the funds raised would go towards rent, food costs and monthly bills.

“Hey guys! I’m having a fundraiser for our janitor who is struggling to pay his rent,” the campaign stated. “He had to leave retirement to continue to pay his rent that was raised. Just a little will change his life!” Thurman also created a TikTok to help tug at donor heartstrings. He credited his over 2,000 followers on the social media platform being “enough to get the word out.”

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The funding campaign had an initial goal of $10,000. But that’s not where this story ends! As of February 24th, James’ story has over 8,600 donations with a whopping total of $270,905 USD being raised!

Thurman told Dallas-Fort Worth Fox 4 News that “Nobody deserves to work their whole life. They deserve to enjoy everything”. Classmate Banner Tidwell shared his sentiment, saying that “It’s just so sad seeing an 80-year-old man having to do things an 80-year-old shouldn’t have to do.”

Thanks to these ingenious students, Mr. James won’t have to work again!

Mr. James Gets to Retire and Is Incredible Grateful

After the donations began pouring in for James, the students posted an update “thank you so much to everyone that has donated and spread the word to help Mr. James. You all have made a huge impact on him that will forever change his life.”

But it was after the GoFundMe hit the unexpected amount it did, an additional update was posted saying “Thank you everyone who donated and helped Mr. James enjoy his retirement. He has asked for us to take down the GoFundMe today. He is VERY appreciative of everyone willing to give up their time to help him out and change his life. You all have shown what can happen when everyone gets together to help others! I think God did this to show that no matter how much evil there is, good will always show itself! Mr. James thanks you all! God bless y’all!”

Student Marti Yousko said that he knew people would support the good cause but had no idea the campaign would gain so much traction. “We knew people would want to help,” Yousko said. “But we didn’t know it would blow up!”

James is “very appreciative of what these students have done” stated Callisburg High School Principal Jason Hooper, adding that his a shy man who “doesn’t want any part of the spotlight.”

Enjoy your retirement, Mr. James!


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