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Students Raise $270,000 So Janitor Can Retire

Students at Callisburg High School in Texas noticed that an 80 year old 'retired' janitor had started working at the school...

Janitor Mr. James and the three students who helped him retire
Mr. James and his student angels | Credit: Greyson Thurman, GoFundMe

Several seniors noticed their school had a new janitor: “Mr. James,” as he's affectionately known. The 80 year old former retiree had been forced to go back to work because of the rising cost of living and a substantial increase in his rent.

“It’s just so sad seeing an 80 year old man having to do things an 80 year old shouldn’t have to do,” Callisburg senior Banner Tidwell told KXii. So three high school seniors decided they would like to do something to help and launched a GoFundMe to help Mr. James get back to doing 80 year old things. Their objective was to raise $10,000.

A single TikTok video was posted by senior Greyson Thurman showing Mr. James cleaning the halls, along with a GoFundMe aiming to help James continue to live comfortably. “I have 2,000 followers and that was enough to get the word out,” said Thurman. It succeeded in raising $10,000 in just 12 hours - and most of the donations came from students.

And then it just went crazy. Local news reported on the fund drive in mid-February when there was still a 5-digit sum on the table, but it has now had to be turned off after passing $270,000 in order to get Mr. James the money as soon as possible.

Donations came from all over the country and even beyond, wishing the short-term janitor a happy retirement, and congratulating the students for their brilliant idea.



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