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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Watch: School Custodian Shocked as Teachers Surprise Him with Car

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Chris Jackson is a head custodian at Unity Grove Elementary School in Locust Grove, Georgia, and he loves his job. He makes a sincere effort to do his best work, and his work ethic has not gone unnoticed.

“Chris is one of those co-workers that whatever you need, he’s going to make it happen,” Jodi Combs, one of the teachers at the school, told Fox News. “The kids adore him, the teachers adore him. And he works so very hard.”

Jackson had experienced some hard times lately, and his current mode of transportation was by foot. It was frustrating for him, as he liked to do things quickly and efficiently, but he pushed through and persevered.

When Combs and another teacher, Megan MacDonald, found out about his hardships, they wanted to help. They knew he was trying to earn enough money to buy a car, so they wanted to aid him in that goal.

First, they fundraised $1,000 in their community and gave him some of that for his immediate needs. Then they started working toward the big goal of a vehicle.

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Everything came together in a providential way when one of MacDonald’s friends listed an older car for sale. MacDonald told Combs, “Let’s make this happen for Chris.”

They went to work fundraising again, this time by way of a private Facebook group, and within the day they had enough cash to make the purchase.

“We were completely blown away. Everything fell into place,” Combs said.

It was during lunchtime that Combs and a few others asked Jackson to come to the parking lot to “help them with something.” They approached the car, a Chevy Impala, and then Combs plopped the keys into Jackson’s hand.

He was stunned.

Not only was he overwhelmed with the generous gift, but unbeknownst to the teachers, an Impala was his dream car.

“I’ve loved Impalas since I was a baby!” he said, according to a Facebook post by Kaitlyn Ross 11Alive.

“There is a God, oh my stars,” he adds in the clip that has been shared and has gone viral. “Thank you, thank you all. I thank you all.”

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“I never would have dreamed of something like this. This … this is mind-blowing to me.”

“His reaction was priceless,” Combs said.

He’s excited to have wheels, and said the first thing he was going to do was go visit his mother.

Not only was the gift the rest of the money he needed to buy the car itself, but the title, tag and insurance were covered. At first, the teachers only had enough money to cover part of the insurance, but a kind person who saw the viral clip offered to pay the rest.

“That’s not unusual for our school,” Principal Anne Wilson said. “Any time we know of a need, people just come flooding to help … I’ve been here 20 years as principal and it’s always been that way.

“People unify around each other, around people in times of need and in times of joy. It’s a real blessing to work here.”

“I want people to know that this is not just me or this is not just one teacher,” Combs explained. “This is a whole lot of people that have huge hearts that came together to make this happen.”

“We can talk about the video and have a laugh, but that was one of the greatest moments of my life,” Jackson said. “And no one can take that from me.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking