Life
Principal takes on job at Walmart to raise money for students living in poverty
He worked from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. before working his job at the school - and every dime went to the students.
D.G. Sciortino
01.11.22

We, unfortunately, live in a world where some children go hungry and lack the basic necessities they need to survive.

They can’t help it. They were born into it.

And no one knows that better than North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby.

YouTube Screenshot - TODAY
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - TODAY

He sees these children in the halls of his school every day.

He also grew up just like they did.

Darby lost his father at a young age which forced him to work multiple jobs to provide for himself and his mother.

YouTube Screenshot - TODAY
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - TODAY

He and his mother would collect milk and soda bottles from the side of the road to save up money for his education, and scour the local dump for items that could help make their lives a little bit easier.

He recalls his mother making use of a piece of cloth and turning it into a shirt and how proud she was to tell people her son was going to be a teacher.

Yet, decades later in one of the richest countries in the world, Darby still bears witness to the suffering of children in poverty. Ninety percent of students in his school district live below the poverty line. Yes… 90.

YouTube Screenshot - TODAY
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - TODAY

“I get a little emotional because when you’ve got children you’ve heard, sleeping under a bridge, or a former student and her child, they’re sleeping in a car, or when you go to a parent’s house because there’s problems and you knock on the door, there are no curtains and you see a mattress on the floor,” Darby told TODAY, getting emotional.

YouTube Screenshot - TODAY
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - TODAY

He tried to keep his plan to raise money for his students secret until a student blew his cover and he ended up in national publications for his good deed, along with being awarded South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.

Though Darby works full-time as a principal and as a member of the Charleston County Council, he decided to get a job working at Walmart three nights a week from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

YouTube Screenshot - TODAY
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - TODAY

With his educational background and work expertise, you’d think he could have gotten a higher-paying work-from-home job where he could make his own hours.

But instead, he started working at Walmart stocking shelves.

Those paychecks, which Indeed.com says likely pays an average of $13.67 an hour, went toward food and basic supplies for the families of his students which he would regularly make weekend housecalls and welfare checks to.

YouTube Screenshot - TODAY
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - TODAY

His paychecks would also help these families to pay their bills or help out former students, as well as teachers.

Because we also live in a world where teachers, who help mold the future minds of America, are unpaid.

“I decided to get another job because the kids, they really need help,” Darby said, according to NPR.

YouTube Screenshot - TODAY
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - TODAY

Walmart ended up giving Darby’s school a $50,000 check and two crowdfunding pages earned $195,000.

So, his efforts went on to have a major impact on his school and his students. Darby was praised in national headlines and articles around the world.

YouTube Screenshot - TODAY
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - TODAY

But it’s kind of ironic that our headlines honor people who have to kill themselves just to help others and glorify sacrifice instead of exploring ways to change the way education is funded, fight for fair taxation, and eliminate the root causes of economic inequality which has only grown during the pandemic.

Still, the thought of someone having so much love in their heart for children that they would go without sleep and put their wellness at risk to help them is beautiful and certainly press worthy. And, being an optimist, Darby knows that his children won’t be in poverty forever and that the tide will one day turn where the children of America will thrive.

Learn more about the love Darby has put into this world in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
Dina is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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