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‘Pass the Tissue!’: Elementary School Custodian Is Surprised with a Car and Funds by Colleagues During His Time of Need

Kindness knows no bounds at an elementary school in Henry County, Georgia. 

Chris Jackson works as the head custodian at Unity Grove Elementary where teachers and students know him to be a friend, a reliable fixture in their small community and a smiling face greeting them each and every day.

Chris Jackson was stunned to find out his colleagues and members of the Locust Grove community rallied together to help him during a time of need. (Photo: Unity Grove Elementary/Facebook.)

When Jackson’s colleagues found out he had fallen on hard times over the summer, they could not help but to find a way to ease some of his troubles. One of the biggest hurdles was Jackson’s lack of a vehicle, which left him dependent on others, public transportation and in most cases trekking to work on foot. Despite the trying time he took every step in stride. 

“I was quicker than the bus. If I got on a bus that would be another hour-forty-five, two hours before I get to a job where I’m an hour away from,” Jackson told WXIA-TV 11 Alive about his decision to walk to work. 

While Jackson hoped for better circumstances, he managed to maintain that smile his students and teachers have come to know. 

“I didn’t quit. I didn’t run away. I just stay. I put my pride aside. I just come to work, smile, be me,” he said. Everyone took notice. Unbeknownst to Jackson, teachers and members of the Locust Grove community were all pitching in to help ease his financial burdens and to purchase him a vehicle equally as reliable as he had proven himself to be. Jackson contributed $1,500 he’d saved to bring a wish of having a new whip to fruition.

On an unsuspecting August day, Jackson was escorted to the school parking lot by teachers Jodi Combs and Megan MacDonald, who gave him the shock of a lifetime: his dream car, a Chevrolet Impala, with just over 76,000 miles. The moment was shared to the school’s Facebook page where it quickly went viral.

“There is a God,” exclaims Jackson in the video where he is seen lifting his arms to the sky. “I thank you all, I thank you all,” he continued while relishing in the moment as Combs and MacDonald looked on.

“I never would have dreamt of something like this. This is mind-blowing to me,” he added.

“The kids here adore him,”’ said Combs, a special education teacher, while reflecting on the heartwarming moment. “Kindness is a big thing at our school, it’s something we try to instill in our kids. It’s just who we are.”

In an online post acknowledging the grand act of kindness the school wrote, “Through the generosity of our staff, we have been able to bless our head custodian Mr. Chris in his time of bed. In the past few months, Ms. Combs and Ms. MacDonald have orchestrated collection for funds to help him find housing and utility payments.”

A second post added, “We are so proud of Chris’ perseverance his willingness to do whatever he can to be sure he is at work for our kids, and as a school we are so proud to share how #unitymakesusgreat!”

The touching moment warmed the hearts of many of the thousands of people who commented on the viral post.

“Kindness goes a long way. This is awesome. Congratulations to this brother and great hearts from these beautiful ladies.”

“This is what American is about lifting others up when they are trying very hard to lift themselves up with great work ethic.”

“Pass the tissue! So glad to see there are still kindhearted people amongst us. Makes me smile! 😊”

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