Kind Students Noticed 80-Yr-Old Janitor Come Out Of Retirement To Pay His Bills, Raised $270,880 For Him

When a couple of kind students noticed that their janitor, who had previously retired, began working again at their school in order to pay his increased rent costs, they fundraised enough money to help him stay retired.

Several students at Callisburg High School in Callisburg, Texas, noticed one day that their previously retired janitor, Mr. James, had returned to school and was again emptying the trashcans. One of the students, Marti Yousko, always appreciated Mr. James and described him as sweet and “very shy, very quiet.”

After talking with Mr. James, they learned that his rent had recently gone up $400 a month, so he needed to return to work again at the high school in order to keep up with his living expenses.

“This is our 80 y/o janitor who had his rent raised and had to come back to work,” Student Greyson Thurman wrote in a post online.

Photo credit: Greyson Thurman

Marti and Greyson felt compassion for Mr. James after seeing him return to work at their school.

“No one his age should have to be cleaning our messes up to continue to live,” Greyson said. “When I saw him in the hall, it broke my heart. Nobody at that age should be working; they should be living the rest of their life, you know? They deserve to enjoy everything.”

“It’s just so sad seeing an 80-year-old man having to do things an 80-year-old shouldn’t have to do,” another Callisburg High school senior, Banner Tidwell, said.

Photo credit: YouTube

The kind students decided that they wanted to setup a GoFundMe for Mr. James, with the goal of raising $10,000 to help him pay his bills. Marti helped spearhead the effort and then Greyson made the post online.

“Hey guys I’m having a fundraiser for our janitor who is struggling to pay his rent,” Greyson explained. “He had to leave retirement to continue to pay his rent that was raised. Nobody deserves to work their whole life. Just a little will change his life!! Let’s help Mr. James out!”

Photo credit: YouTube

Within 48 hours, more than $20,000 had been raised by students, their families and other kind neighbors to help support Mr. James, and eventually the media shared what was going on.

“We knew being in a small town like Callisburg that people would want to help and people would want to support us, especially with something like this, but I don’t think we ever imagined that there’d be like news channels here,” Marti said.

Photo credit: YouTube

At school she told Mr. James about how they’d raised more than $10,000 for him, and while shy, he was very grateful.

“When we told him, he was kind of like, ‘Dang, that’s alright!’” Marti said.

In total and as time went on, the students raised far beyond their $10,000 goal to a total of $270,880, more than enough to help Mr. James permanently retire. Mr. James expressed his deep gratitude to the kind students and also to the community, but he preferred to stay out of the spotlight during media interviews.

Photo credit: Greyson Thurman

Jason Hooper, the principal of Callisburg High School, said that Mr. James didn’t want “the spotlight,” but was “very appreciative of what these students have done.”

The principal also expressed how he himself was inspired by the kindness of his students.

“It’s just amazing. You know of the need that was met because of three kind kids, but of all of our students have pitched in to help that need.”

Greyson thanked everyone who donated, and said that they had all together helped change Mr. James’ life.

“You all have made a huge impact on him that will forever change his life,” he said.

You are Loved.

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