Teacher Collects $530 on Southwest Flight After Opening Up to Stranger about Students in Need

Maria Pasquini

Never underestimate the kindness of strangers.

While traveling to visit her parents in Florida earlier this month on a Southwest Airlines flight, Chicago school teacher Kimber Bermudez received $530 from three complete strangers after opening up to her seat mate about the hardships some of the students at her “low income school” face.

“I write this in awe of my day yesterday,” Bermudez, 27, wrote in a Facebook post that has since been shared over 16,000 times and received over 50,000 likes.

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After being asked by a “kind man” sitting next to her what she did for a living, Bermudez wrote that she “began telling him how much I love my job” — but when asked about the “greatest challenge” involved with her profession, she opened up about how “working at a low income school can be heartbreaking.”

“We talked about the world and how no child should ever do without. In 2018, kids should never be hungry or in need of anything,” she continued, adding that the man asked for her contact information because “his company likes to donate items, time, etc for schools such as mine.”

While she was already touched by the gesture, she couldn’t believe what happened next: another man sitting behind her tapped her shoulder, apologized for eavesdropping on her conversation, and then “handed me a wad of cash.”

“He told me to ‘do something amazing’ and sat back down,” she continued. “I realized that there was $100 on top, and started to cry. I thanked him and told him how I would buy my students books and give back to the community. I didn’t count the money from that man, but I would later find out that he gave me $500.”

Two other strangers also went on to hand Bermudez some cash: one $20 bill and a $10 bill.

“I was not telling my story to solicit money, and never intended to walk out of that flight with anything other than my carry on,” she continued in the post, which featured a photograph of the $530 she collected.

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“My heart is in complete shock and awe right now. When the world seems crazy there are always good people. I would do anything for my students, and want to thank these strangers,” she continued, adding that while she doesn’t know the names of any of the good samaritans, “they deserve to be recognized.”

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Bermudez teaches 32 first grade students, many of whom are the children of immigrants, at Chicago’s Carlos Fuentes school. In an interview with the USA Today, she said she plans on using the money to buy books for her students — some written in English, and some written in Spanish.

“I am thankful for the good people in this world,” she said. “No child should ever go without anything. This experience made me want to do more for the kids, and use my gift of speaking to help others in need. I want to pass this story around, and thank those strangers and their amazing hearts!”

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