An 80-year-old school janitor was forced out of retirement after his rent was raised for $400. The janitor, known to students as Mr. James, did not have to work long, as Texas high school students raised more than $250,000 so he could enjoy his senior days.
Forced back to work
Students from Callisburg High School started campaigning on TikTok upon learning of Mr. James’ misfortune. KDFW was the first to report that the retired janitor’s rent went up $400, forcing him to go back to work.
A senior student started the campaign
A senior, Greyson Thurman, started this campaign and shared with KTEN, “When I saw him in the hall, it broke my heart.” The student added, “Nobody at that age should be working; they should be living the rest of their life, you know?”
Greyson shared the first TikTok clip
On TikTok, Greyson shared a video with the caption, “My classmates and I hate seeing Mr. James here; no one his age should have to be cleaning our messes up to continue to live.” With the help of two more students, the efforts went viral.
Another student shared their experience
A student who helped launch this inspiring campaign Marti Yousko told the media: “When we told him (Mr. James), he was kind of like, ‘Dang, that’s alright!'”
James did not comment
The retired janitor refused to make any statements to the media.
Through GoFundMe, the students raised $270,000
In total, $270,880 were raised to help Mr. James retire and enjoy in peace. The initial goal was $10,000, but it was increased to $200,000 after the students saw that many people wanted to help.
TikTok users praised the good deed
The clip fascinated kind-hearted TikTok users, as one wrote, “So sweet. This guy must’ve been around for my family, who went to Callisburg. Thank you for doing this!”
People of all ages were included
Another TikTok poster wrote, “Really thoughtful what you guys did. Our elders built this world for us and deserve dignity.” The third added, “You kids are amazing for helping this man in such a time of need! Your parents must be so incredibly proud of you.”
The video gathered thousands of comments
Someone shared, “You’re amazing for helping him. So many people donated.” Another person wrote, “Bless these students!! Thanks for helping others in need.”
The students interacted with TikTok commentators
One person said, “Donated! God bless this man!” In response, Grayson said, “May God bless you!!” People also appreciated how the high school students did not simply go to the “adults” but took matters into their own hands.
The students put their school on the map
As one person on TikTok wrote, “Thank you for recognizing a need and stepping up to help. Y’all at Callisburg High have a bright future ahead of you!” Another wrote, “Please tell Mr. James to thank you for taking care of the kids. Thank you, kids, for taking care of Mr. James.”
The future looks gloomy for seniors
By 2030, the number of people aged 75 and older in the workforce is anticipated to increase by 96.5%, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics.
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