Passengers inspired by teacher's passion for her students give her $500 on flight

Thursday, July 19, 2018
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Strangers on plane gift teacher money for student meals

CHICAGO, Illinois -- A Chicago teacher strikes a conversation on a plane, and it ends up benefitting her school. It turns out her fellow passengers wanted to lend her and her students a helping hand, financially.

First grade teacher Kimber Bermudez loves to talk, especially about her job at Carlos Fuentes Charter School.

"I guess I'm a little bit chatty, if you were to ask people," she told WGN-TV.

The subject came up last Tuesday with the guy sitting next to her on a Southwest flight to Florida.

"I started talking about my students, how I love them and then he said, 'What's your greatest challenge?' And I started talking about how amazing the families are here and the kids and the great resources that we offer, like free breakfast and free lunch," Bermudez recalled.

That conversation went on for about 30 minutes. What she didn't realize is that others on the plane were listening, too.

"The man behind me, as the plane was landing, tapped me," Bermudez said. "(He) handed me the money and started the chain reaction. The guy next to me, he said, 'Hey I was listening, too. I don't have much but will this help.' And then in front of me turned around and said, 'I don't have much either. I just want to make a difference.'"

Bermudez says she started crying as she thanked them. It wasn't until later that she realized she had $530.

"They told me please use your voice," Bermudez said. "You're a talker and the way you deliver your stories makes people feel something."

Fuentes Principal Gillian Tanner isn't surprised something like this happened to Bermudez.

"She is incredibly talkative but also incredibly positive and always searching for opportunities to give back to her classroom, and really go above and beyond for her students," Tanner said.

Bermudez says she never got the names of her generous donors so she wrote about it on Facebook in hopes of finding them.

"I would run up to them, hug them and tell them thank you. They have started a chain reaction of kindness and they will get to know the amazing things that they are going to do for the school," Bermudez said.

Other donations have come to the school after the Facebook post.


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