Imagine the stress and exhaustion that come from being a high school principal while also serving as a city councilman. Then add a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Walmart shift three days a week on top of that. That’s the schedule Henry Darby has been keeping for months, and it’s all so he can help his students!
Henry works at North Charleston High School in South Carolina, where 90 percent of the student population lives in poverty. His dedication to going above and beyond for them comes from his upbringing, and it’s something that he hopes will inspire the teens he’s helping today.
Tragically, his parents died when he was young, so his family members and his church community stepped up to raise him. “I can say that people really helped me to get to where I am today,” he said.
Still, while he was surrounded by people who cared about him, he was financially insecure throughout his childhood. Now that he’s made his way to his current position, he wants to pay forward the love and support he received growing up. That’s why he works so hard to help his students and their families.
In his words: “I wish that those of us who are born of poverty and we had to struggle and we made it to at least the lower-middle class, that we will look back to help others.”
He’s certainly living up to that standard! By December 2020, Henry had donated half of his Walmart earnings, about $2,500, to his students’ families to help them pay bills, and he plans to give them whatever is left after he pays taxes.
Upon hearing about his unbelievable efforts, the Charleston community rallied to support him. Businesses and families alike reached out, and soon someone set up a GoFundMe. Their initial goal was to raise $20,000 — which they surpassed within 48 hours! In fact, in less than a week, they had raised more than $50,000.
Then a second GoFundMe was started with a goal of $5,000, which was also accomplished in less than a week. Both GoFundMe organizers will present the money to Henry, who will then disperse it to his students in need.
The hope is that he will be able to leave his job at Walmart and get some well-deserved rest! Still, something tells us this won’t be the last time we’ll hear about this educator and his heart of gold.
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