There was nothing extraordinary about Kimber Bermudez’s day as she boarded a flight from Chicago to Florida to visit her parents. But on July 10 of this year, thousands of miles high in the sky, she received a gift she wasn’t quite prepared for.
A first grade teacher at Carlos Fuentes Elementary, Bermudez found herself sitting next to a kind man who asked her what she did for a living. Bermudez admits, “anyone who knows me knows that I am a talker… and teaching is my passion”, so she engaged, happily telling him that she is an educator, and how much she loved her job and her students. The conversation took a more serious turn, however, when her seatmate eventually asked her what the biggest challenge she faces as a teacher is.
“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” She says. A number of Bermudez’s students are, in fact, homeless, and many of them are children of immigrants who work very hard to make very little.
Because it’s a low-income school and many of their students are in need, she admitted to the man that often the teachers and administrators dip into their own pockets to provide the children with their most basic needs- things like underwear, toiletries, and food- so that they don’t go without.
Teachers truly are super heroes, aren’t they?
After she shared, her seatmate asked for her name and contact information, stating that the company he works for likes to donate material items and time for schools such as hers. Bermudez was shocked. She wrote down her school email to give to him.
Immediately after, something even more surprising happened. Apparently, and unbeknownst to the pair, their conversation wasn’t just between the two of them. Kimber felt a finger tap her from the row behind her, and a man handed her a wad of cash and told her to, “Do something amazing”. He sat back down.
Bermudez shares that she saw a $100 bill on top and immediately began to cry, promising him that she will make good use of the money, buying her students books and giving back to their community. When she got home later that evening and finally counted the money, she realized that this man had given her $500.
It didn’t stop there, though. Apparently the acts of kindness had inspired others as well, and upon landing, a man across the aisle handed her a $20 bill. Then another man, seated in front of her, handed her $10.
Sometimes the world can feel downright discouraging. I’m sure that Ms. Bermudez goes home many nights heavy with the needs of her students, and feeling like she can’t possibly do it all. There just aren’t enough resources, and not enough arms, right? But sometimes there are- they just need to hear.
Although she didn’t get the names of the men who selflessly gave their resources to her students, she left not only encouraged to do good with the money, but to keep sharing her experiences and love for teaching more vulnerable children.
“My heart is in complete shock and awe right now. When the world seems crazy there are always good people” She says. Thank you for using the gift of your passionate voice to advocate for your students, Kimber! Chicago is lucky to have you.
Rachel is a wife and mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a fan of good coffee, wearer of gray t-shirts, and is constantly starting books she will never finish. Her family is her joy, and she loves to engage with other moms and dads on matters of parenting. Her blog posts have also been featured on the Today Show Parenting Blog and Scary Mommy.