A teacher discussing her students on a domestic flight shows us that we can still be amazed by the kindness of strangers.
Kimberly Bermudez, a teacher on a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida, was discussing her job at Carlos Fuentes Elementary and the first grade students she teaches with a fellow passenger. The students mostly come from low-income families and when Bermudez was asked by the fellow passenger what her biggest challenge is, she replied it was when her kids came to school hungry.
The man she was talking to mentioned that his company donated to schools and perhaps they might be able to help her out. That's when Bermudez says she felt a tap on her shoulder and a different passenger said he couldn't help overhearing. That man then gave her a stack of cash with a tip to:
Do something amazing.
As the plane landed, other passengers who had overheard began slipping the grateful teacher more bills. When her mother picked her up, she got into the car and counted a total of $530.
Bermudez told The Washington Post what she said to the passengers:
'I'm not here to solicit money; I really am here on this plane just to see my parents, and one of them said, 'I know. That's why we're giving it to you. Use your voice. Use your gift of talking.'
Bermudez took to Facebook to share the story of kindness displayed by the strangers.
Her post went viral, and the story has since been picked up by major media outlets.
‘‘I said, ‘I’m not here to solicit money; I really am here on this plane just to see my parents,’ ’’ the Chicago sc… https://t.co/jRcwwqlIIu— The Boston Globe (@The Boston Globe) 1531938089.0
This teacher on a plane talked about her low-income students. Passengers overheard and gave her more than $500 in c… https://t.co/cGWkrNIEes— The Washington Post (@The Washington Post) 1531828831.0
The story touched many.
@washingtonpost Finly a great story to wake up to.— Victor, F. Stukalo,U.S.Navy vet. (@Victor, F. Stukalo,U.S.Navy vet.) 1531829035.0
@TorontoStar How inspiring! This gives me hope during such a dark time.— Didi🇨🇦 (@Didi🇨🇦) 1532005463.0
@washingtonpost Love this story. Tears by the time I got to “Do something amazing,”— East Coast (@East Coast) 1531829141.0
@washingtonpost Now this is the America I know and love!— Anita Hicks (@Anita Hicks) 1531830830.0
But for many people, the story only showcases a much larger problem.
It was nice of these passengers to donate, but how about states just properly fund public schools? Where do people… https://t.co/sQ75WKxaec— Dr. Amy J. Ko (@Dr. Amy J. Ko) 1531876689.0
Fuck these stories. CEO gives man car for walking 7hrs to job. Plane give teacher pocket money for supplies. Mom ho… https://t.co/NYdtirvu9Z— Becca Young (@Becca Young) 1532003404.0
It was easier for this Chicago public school teacher to receive money for her students from strangers on a plane th… https://t.co/j6aDHKTwHR— ChicagoTeachersUnion (@ChicagoTeachersUnion) 1531970827.0
It's time for that FEEL GOOD story. "A Chicago school-teacher has told the BBC that her "faith in humanity" has bee… https://t.co/Q9ptDdvBtZ— 🌊#WeShouldDoBetter (@🌊#WeShouldDoBetter) 1531961509.0
Nice story of generosity, but reminds me that tho the wealthy can even deduct costs of their private planes from th… https://t.co/a8bMM4Yd85— M✍🏼ggie Rowe (@M✍🏼ggie Rowe) 1531912939.0
We are happy that Bermudez's school received much needed aid, but perhaps it's time to start looking at the larger picture by giving schools proper funding, and teachers livable wages along the ability to write off supplies they pay for out of pocket.