What would you do to help your impoverished community?
Henry Darby, principal at North Charleston High School in South Carolina, found his answer by getting a part-time job. At Walmart. He then donates his paycheck to students in need.
And there are plenty of those, unfortunately. About 90 percent of the student body live under the poverty line.
“A couple of years ago, I had two students, who were females, sleeping under the bridge. There was another situation where a former student of mine and her daughter were sleeping in their car, and another situation where a former student needed funds for her water and light bills,” he told WCIV-TV.
Darby’s call to action led him to Walmart, where he started working three nights a week, stocking shelves in the graveyard shift from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. He sneaks in a two-hour nap on those days to help him get through the night.
Although he didn’t tell his manager about his “day job,” Darby was recognized by one of his students on the very first night of work.
“Someone yelled, ‘Hey Mr. Darby, you’re working for Walmart? Aren’t you the principal?’ And it blew me out of the water, so at that time, I said, ‘That’s it, I’ll just do what I need,” he said.
Others soon recognized Darby — and his efforts — as well.
His part-time money didn’t amount to a significant chunk of change, but that’s where Walmart stepped in: the retailer has donated $50,000 to North Charleston High School.
And Darby said someone visited his office, offering 10 $5,000 scholarships and a $1,000 donation for the next 12 months.
“Even before we knew, there was something special about him,” store manager Cynthia Solomon told TODAY “I would be so happy to have Mr. Darby for as long as he will have us as a part of his family and beyond.”
And Darby’s big-picture message?
“It’s quite simple: just learn to help others. That is one of the greatest things that we could do in terms of human beings,” he said.