A beloved custodian at a Germantown elementary school continues to get some help from the community.
Robert Reed works at Farmington Elementary. His commute to and from work every day previously involved multiple bus rides, hikes between bus stops and a lift from his niece.
Thanks to a GoFundMe campaign started in February, Reed now owns his dream truck and the campaign’s organizer, a teacher at the elementary school, is helping him find a new place to live.
It used to often take several hours to get to work and he generally arrives home at around 7 p.m.
Knowing these challenges, Elizabeth Malone, a teacher at Farmington, set up a GoFundMe page for Reed on Feb. 18 in an effort to help him purchase a reliable vehicle.
The initial goal was $10,000. By Feb. 25, the page had raised more than $47,000, which prompted Malone to expand the objective.
“Our new plan is to provide him a truck, insurance, his tag and lawn equipment/tools to start his lawn business. He also will do home repairs,” Malone wrote. “This campaign has gone well beyond my wildest dreams, and I am sure he feels the same way. I can’t wait to get to school this morning and share with him the new total. Each morning, when we give him an update, he just cries and cries…and so do we. He is so very humble and completely overwhelmed with gratitude. Last week, he even asked me to marry him.”
Malone was driven to help Reed after hearing that he takes eight buses, roundtrip, to get to the school and learning that he was saving money to buy a truck.
“He loves the students and teachers here,” Malone wrote. “Mr. Robert always has a smile on his face. His manager says he looks for jobs to do around the school after he has completed his daily tasks. Every day he goes above and beyond taking care of the needs in our facility.
“It is a blessing to bless others,” she continued. “There is no better feeling in the world. Farmington just adores him. No one deserves this more than Mr. Robert.”
Plans changed on May 25 with getting the lawn equipment.
“We had a place for him to securely store it, but that fell through last night,” Malone wrote. “We have had two places, but they both fell through also, so Robert has decided to wait on getting it until we can find him an apartment or rental house with a garage. We are hoping that happens soon. We are talking to two complexes.
“Through all of these set backs, he has not complained or been down one time,” she added. “He amazes me. He is the most positive person.”
Currently, $49,050 has been raised.
Reed plans to show off the new 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500, in his favorite color, and lawn equipment this Friday at 1 p.m. at the Farmington Elementary School pick-up line.