Mr. Chris thought he was in the parking lot to help the teachers out. But really, it was so they could give him a life-changing gift.
It doesn’t take having to do monumental things to really shine in your community. Oftentimes, it’s the small acts that help brighten people’s days and make a difference.
Chris Jackson, a custodian at Unity Grove Elementary school, has always been a positive energy at his school. He’s reliable and would never think twice to assist anyone in any way.
But behind his big smiles and joyful attitude, Jackson conceals his struggles and the challenges he’s trying to overcome daily. Even transportation was a hard thing when he fell on hard times.
A car would make it easier for him to go to work but he just couldn’t afford one.
“We had buses, transportation, but I was quicker than the bus. It would add an hour, hour 45. And I was only an hour from my job. So for me, there’s no stopping me,” Jackson said to 11Alive.
And indeed, these hard times didn’t stop him from serving his community at Unity Grove.
He shows up, does his job well, and makes sure that everything is in order. Even if there were days that were much more difficult, Jackson kept his head up.
“But I didn’t quit. I didn’t run away. I just stay. I put my pride aside. I just come to work, smile, be me.” he said to the news outlet.
His work ethic and attitude didn’t go unnoticed, and both the faculty and students were very appreciative to have Jackson at their school.
“There has never been a day where he has not come in with a smile on his face. The kids here adore him. They love Mr. Chris. And he just works so hard,” Special Ed Teacher Jodi Combs describes Jackson and his work to 11Alive.
So when they learned about Jackson’s struggles, the school didn’t hesitate to pitch in and help.
After all, what is a school if not a community? And a community always looks after one another.
“We heard that Chris had fallen on some hard times and we pulled together to help with his immediate needs,” she added.
They may not be able to solve all of his problems, and we doubt Jackson would let them, but they knew a way where they could be impactful.
They knew that his most immediate need was a car, and since Jackson already had some money to invest in one, the school decided to raise funds for the rest.
In a video posted on Facebook, Jackson was following a teacher through the parking lot. They told him she needed help, and just like always, Jackson was ready to help. Only this time, the help was for him.
As they reached a Chevrolet Impala, a model that Jackson considered to be his dream car, the teacher suddenly turned to him and handed him keys.
At first, Jackson was stunned. He was just standing there, trying to understand what just happened. The teachers around him were explaining what the staff did and welcomed him to his new car – his dream car.
“If y’all was in my body right now, I can’t move!” Jackson said in the Facebook post. “I’m stuck. I’m really stuck.”
Slowly Jackson began to process what had just happened.
He finally got the break he deserved. It’s all thanks to the community he helped serve, and the staff who did not hesitate to return the favor.
It goes to show that although we each deal with our own struggles – there’s a lot that can be overcome when people stick together.
Press play below to watch Mr. Chris get the surprise of a lifetime and to see an interview with him!
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
YOUTUBE – 11ALIVE
FACEBOOK – UNITY GROVE ELEMENTARY
YOUTUBE – FOX 5 ATLANTA