A charter school teacher who shared about her students on a flight last week landed with $530 in cash from strangers.
When a man on Southwest Airlines flight 1050 asked Kimberly Bermudez about her greatest challenge as a teacher, she said that "working at a low income school can be heartbreaking." Bermudez teaches 32 first grade students at Chicago's Carlos Fuentes Elementary. Many are children of immigrants living in poverty.
These parents "came here to make a better life for their children," Bermudez told USA TODAY.
The man she was speaking with asked for her work contact information, saying his company might follow up with her to donate items. Then, a man sitting behind Bermudez tapped her on the shoulder and handed her "a wad of cash," she said. He told her to do "something amazing" with the money — $500 in total. Crying, she thanked him for his generosity.
When the plane landed, a man across the aisle handed her $20 and the man sitting in front of her pitched in another $10. That amounted to $530 total her students.
"My heart is in complete shock and awe right now," she said in a Facebook post that went viral. "When the world seems crazy there are always good people."
Bermudez plans to use the money to purchase books, some in English and some in Spanish, to help her students with reading comprehension.
The teacher hasn't connected with the strangers since the flight, she said, but hopes they will see how their generosity was received.
"I just want to give them a big hug," she said.
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