I write this in awe of my day yesterday. I was sitting next to a kind man on my Southwest flight 1050. He asked me what...Posted by Kimber Bermudez on Wednesday, July 11, 2018
When Kimber Bermudez, a 27-year-old teacher in Chicago, boarded her Southwest flight to visit her parents in Florida on July 10, she had no idea that her chatty Cathy tendencies would lead to an outpouring of kindness from complete strangers. When her seatmate asked her what she does for a living, she launched into talking about her students and how passionate she is about teaching at her charter school, Carlos Fuentes Elementary. However, her cheery story took a turn when the man asked what her greatest challenge is as an educator, and she was honest with him: "I told him that working at a low-income school can be heartbreaking."
Kimber continued to chat to the man about teaching students who come from low-income families, some of whom are homeless, and about "how no child should ever do without." The man then asked for her work contact information because his company donates to schools just like Carlos Fuentes Elementary, and while she was grateful for his simple ask, what happened next shocked her.
"The man behind me tapped my shoulder. I turned around and he apologized for listening in to my conversation, and he handed me a wad of cash," she wrote in a post to Facebook. "He told me to 'do something amazing' and sat back down. I was in complete awe . . . I realized that there was $100 on top, and started to cry. I thanked him and told him how I would buy my students books and give back to the community. I didn't count the money from that man, but I would later find out that he gave me $500. Then something even more amazing happened."
"I started crying on the plane. I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids."
As the plane landed, a man across the aisle admitted to eavesdropping as well, and handed her a $20 bill. The domino effect continued, and a man sitting in the row in front of her gave her the only cash he had on him, $10. "I started crying on the plane. 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."
Although Kimber could have never imagined such random kindness from strangers on a flight, the teacher hopes that the chain reaction of donations can continue, not just for her school, but for any child in need. Most of all, she wants the four men who offered to help her students to know how much their actions meant to her:
My heart is in complete shock and awe right now. 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. I am thankful for the good people in this world. No child should ever go without anything. This experience made me want to do more for the kids, and use my gift of speaking to help others in need. I want to pass this story around, and thank those strangers and their amazing hearts!