School Staff Learn One Teacher Needs Costly Surgery, Only Poor Janitor Responds & Donates $15K

A poor janitor donated $15,000 to a teacher needing costly surgery and was startled when everyone called him a thief. Later, they shed tears when he revealed where that money came from.

The alarm set off at 7 a.m. though 56-year-old widowed school teacher Carol Warren was already up. She could not focus and was not happy to get ready to go to school.

Carol loved her job and being around students, but it did not seem like it now after her hospital visit two weeks ago and the shocking diagnosis the doctor gave her.

“How will I tell them that I won’t be coming to teach anymore? That I’m going to die soon?”

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The morning buzz and chitter-chatter of students in the middle school hallway suddenly turned silent. Students ran into their classrooms after hearing Carol’s footsteps approach their class.

“If you didn’t steal this money, where did it come from?” the principal yelled at the poor janitor who just wanted to help.
“Shhh…! She’s coming. Quiet everyone, or she’ll give us another assignment as punishment,” said one of them.
Carol entered the classroom with the principal. It seemed a bit unusual because the principal would visit the class only when she wanted to complain about misbehaving students.

“Good morning, students!” the principal greeted. Carol stood silent, coughing and wrapped in a shawl, looking unusually sick.

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“I’m here to tell you that we will have a new substitute teacher for your history class…Mrs. Warren will not be coming for some time.”

Grave silence filled the classroom as Carol’s students wondered what was wrong with her.

“Okay, Mr. Fletcher. I’ll take leave,” said Carol as she disappointedly walked out of the principal’s office later.

“Mrs. Warren, we will try our best. We’ve set up a fundraiser for you. I’m sure it will help.”

“Thank you, Mr. Fletcher. I hope I can return soon…It’s all in God’s hands now.”

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Carol had been teaching history for the past 18 years. She devoted all her time to her job and was ready to keep working as long as possible. But fate had other plans when she collapsed, holding her chest on her way home one day.

“Mrs. Warren, you will need to undergo heart surgery immediately,” was the last thing Carol wanted to hear from the doctor. If that weren’t enough, the cost of the operation was $140,000.

Poor Carol could not afford the operation. Her salary was drained from clearing the debts her late husband had left. Even worse, her health insurance did not cover so much money.

“What will I do?” she thought. “I cannot ask anybody to lend me money coz I don’t have anyone.”

Carol revealed the diagnosis to the principal, hoping she would find someone to help. But $140,000 was a lot of money and could not be arranged overnight. So the principal and the other staff set up an anonymous fundraiser to raise funds for Carol’s surgery.

A week later, Carol anxiously visited the school and checked the funds, only to find $100 in it. She lost hope and walked away. Then she heard a loud voice behind her, offering help.

“Mrs. Warren, please don’t go away. I came here to help you.”

She turned around and was startled to see a man’s silhouette outside the principal’s office.

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“Sam? Did you call me? What is it, and what help are you talking about?” Carol asked the young janitor who stood behind her with a mop stick and bucket.

“Mrs. Warren, I’m sorry to bother you. But I can help you. I heard you talking to the principal last week. I’ve been wanting to contact you. Luckily, you showed up today.”

“What do you mean? What are you going to help me with?”

“Your heart surgery!” replied Sam, taking out a wad of cash from his pocket. “Here, take this $15,000.”

Carol was startled. She observed the janitor from top to toe and frowned. Then she alerted everyone after suspecting he had stolen the money from the principal’s office.

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“No, Mr. Fletcher. I didn’t steal this money!” Sam pleaded, but nobody trusted him.

“If you didn’t steal this money, where did it come from?” the principal yelled at the poor janitor who just wanted to help. “I’m calling the cops. I hired you only because my friend referred you here.”

“Call the cops, Mr. Fletcher. He approached me outside your office. He must have stolen the money from your drawer,” added Carol. “Please check if you have any cash missing.”

“No, please don’t. Please listen to me…I didn’t steal this money,” cried Sam, trying to explain everything. “This is my money. I got it from my grandpa, who died last week. Please, stop blaming me!”

“What? Your grandpa gave this to you?” exclaimed the principal.

“Yes, after my grandpa died, I found a note under his pillow asking me to find $15,000 under his bed. He wanted me to use it wisely,” revealed Sam, showing them a note from his late grandpa.

“I didn’t know what to do with so much money, and that’s when I overheard Mrs. Warren telling you about her surgery. I wanted to help her because our country deserves good teachers like her.”

He showed them the note as proof. It read:

Dear Sam, I haven’t saved much, but I’m pleased to tell you I have saved $15,000 for you. Please take it from under my bed after I’m gone and use it wisely.

— With Love, Grandpa.

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The hallway turned grave silent. Everyone regretted jumping to conclusions about him.

“Please take this money. I want to help you, Mrs. Warren,” Sam pleaded again.

“No. I just accused you of theft by mistake. I cannot possibly take it from you,” said Carol. “I feel bad. I’m sorry for hurting you.”

“Please don’t refuse. I know it’s not enough for the $140,000 you need. But I still want to contribute to your well-being.”

Carol could not deny the kind man’s offer and took the money from him.

Eventually, the faculty and students teamed up to raise enough funds for Carol’s surgery. Around $200,000 was collected in a little over three weeks.

Carol’s heart surgery was successful, and she returned to work two months later with a little surprise for the selfless janitor.

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“What?! $75,000? Are you sure, Mrs. Warren?” Sam exclaimed in tears when she gave him a check signed for $75K.

“Well, yes! I still had $75,000 left from the collection after settling the bills for my surgery. This is life-changing money, but you need it more than I do. You deserve to keep it for your kind, warm heart!”

Touched by Carol’s warm gesture, Sam shed tears and walked away with the check. His kind deed fetched him more than just a life-changing reward. From that turning point, everybody in the school respected him. They realized one should not jump to conclusions about someone just because they work a low-paying job.

As for Carol, she happily returned to school and continued to teach. Besides history, she also taught her students the importance of respecting people regardless of their status!

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What can we learn from this story?

Even a little selfless act of kindness will return a reward one day. When Sam learned of Carol’s inability to afford her heart surgery, he gave her the $15K he inherited from his late grandpa. His selfless deed fetched him a reward later when Carol gave him five times the amount later.
Never jump to conclusions about someone without knowing the truth. When Carol and the others in school saw Sam with $15K, they blindly surmised he had stolen it. But later, they regretted misjudging him after learning it was his inheritance money.