A school community from Tennessee has rallied behind a beloved custodian by helping him purchase a truck to get to work, easing the burden of the man’s daily 8-hour roundtrip commute.
In the four months that Robert Reed has been employed at Farmington Elementary School in Germantown, Tennessee, he has won over the hearts of the students and staff with his giant smile and dedicated work ethic.
Elizabeth Malone, a teacher at the school, said that “Mr. Robert” has been praised for his hard work and positive attitude.
“His manager says he LOOKS for jobs to do around the school, after he has completed his daily tasks,” Malone wrote on a GoFundMe campaign she organized on Reed’s behalf.
“Every day he goes above and beyond taking care of the needs in our facility.”
Robert Reed is a much-loved custodian.
He says he has to catch three buses and walk two miles to get home.https://t.co/723PXM3ixD
— WAVY TV 10 (@WAVY_News) February 22, 2020
Malone and her colleagues soon found out just how dedicated Reed was, learning that he quietly struggled just to get to and from work each day.
‘Recently, we discovered that Mr. Robert takes 8 buses roundtrip to get to our school each day because he does not own a vehicle,” she wrote on the GoFundMe.
She also found out that Reed was saving money to buy a truck, which would alleviate his monster commute time and allow him to begin a landscaping business as a side job.
“Let’s say I get off at 3 o’clock,” Reed told WMC-TV. “I would get home around 7 because I stay at Millbranch and Winchester.”
“I have to catch three buses and walk about two miles. All the teachers have taken me to the bus stop. They even gave me money when I didn’t have any. I’m telling you, Farmington is a family here.”
Reed’s Farmington family decided to support him in a major way by donating money to help him purchase the truck he had been saving to buy on his own.
On Feb. 19, Malone surprised Reed with the news that his school community had raised over $7,000 toward his truck.
Reed fell to his knees in disbelief, wrapping his arms around Malone in a bear hug.
Tears ran down his face as Malone told him that he was deserving of such a generous gift.
“His work ethic is unbelievable, and we just want our kids to pick up on that,” Malone told WMC. “Not only to have a good work ethic, but also if you see someone that has a need that it’s important for you to — if you can, give — that it’s important for you to do that.”
By Monday afternoon, the GoFundMe campaign had raised over $46,000 dollars.
“I love these people up here,” an emotional Reed said. “I love them! And I couldn’t have made it without them.”
“It’s a joy to work here. Pure joy.”
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