Students raise more than $230K so 80-year-old janitor can retire

Texas students raise money so 80-year-old janitor can retire. (Source: KXII)
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 8:36 PM MST
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CALLISBURG, Texas (KXII/Gray News) - Three seniors at Callisburg High School in Texas noticed a need within their school’s community and quickly responded.

KXII reports a custodian who students call Mr. James reportedly had to rejoin the workforce as a custodian last month due to the rise in cost-of-living expenses.

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

Earlier this month, another student, Greyson Thurman, shared a TikTok video that showed Mr. James cleaning the halls and started a GoFundMe to possibly get some financial help for him.

“I have 2,000 followers and I guess that was enough to get the word out,” Thurman said.

The fundraiser effort was able to raise $10,000 in the first 12 hours, with most of the donations coming from students.

Callisburg High School Principal Jason Hooper said he is proud of his students and others who have pitched in.

“It’s just amazing. The need was met because of three kind kids,” Hooper said. “But all of our students have pitched in to help.”

The GoFundMe account has continued to gain momentum and surpassed $230,000 as of Thursday.

“It’s crazy to see. We knew people would want to help but we didn’t know it would blow up,” said Callisburg High School student Marti Yousko.

The students involved said the acts of kindness have been something great to see.

“When I saw the money come in, that really gave me faith in today’s world,” Thurman said.

Thurman thanked everyone who has donated or helped spread the word regarding Mr. James’ story.

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

According to Thurman, the GoFundMe account will remain active until Friday afternoon.