19/07/2018 16:12 BST | Updated 19/07/2018 16:18 BST

Teacher Thanks Stranger Who Gave Her $500 On A Plane To Buy Books For Underprivileged Pupils

Kimberly Bermudez told a fellow passenger how pupils turn up to school hungry or without equipment.

A schoolteacher was moved to tears by a domino effect of kind acts from fellow passengers on a plane she was travelling on.

Earlier this month Kimberly Bermudez, from Chicago, was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Florida when she struck up conversation with the passenger next to her. She told him she was a teacher and at one point he asked her what was the greatest challenge she’d faced in her career. 

Kimberly, 27, responded candidly that working at a low income school could be “heartbreaking” as some children might turn up to school hungry or without the equipment they needed. Sometimes the teachers would use their own money to help.

“He asked for my work contact information and told me that his company likes to donate items, time, etc for schools such as mine,” Kimberly explained on Facebook, in a post that soon went viral. “Then something amazing happened...”

Kimberly Bermudez
Kimberly (pictured left) and the pile of money she was given from strangers (right).

A man sat behind Kimberly tapped her on the shoulder and apologised for listening in on the conversation. To her surprise, he handed her a chunk of cash and told her to “do something amazing” with it. 

The pile of cash had a $100 note on the top and Kimberly felt tears in her eyes. “I thanked him and told him how I would buy my students books and give back to the community,” she said. “I didn’t count the money from that man, but I would later find out that he gave me $500.”

The show of generosity didn’t stop there either. When the plane landed a man sat across the aisle gave her $20 and then another man in front turned around and offered $10. Kindness is contagious.

“I started crying on the plane. I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids,” Kimberly recalled. 

The teacher later shared her story on Facebook in the hope that it would prompt others to help those in need, especially children. In total, she had been given $530 (£408) which she said she’ll use to buy backpacks and school supplies for her class.

“I am beyond amazed by the generosity of total strangers. The people of the world have amazed me. I can’t wait to see all of the good things that will come from this,” she told HuffPost UK.

“Children are the future and they deserve the best. My school has an amazing community, and I can’t wait to show them how many people love and care about them.”

HumanKind is HuffPost’s celebration of kindness, featuring people who do incredible things for others or the planet – transforming lives through small but significant acts. Get involved by joining us on Facebook or telling us about the people who you think deserve recognition for their kind works. You can nominate them here or share your personal story by emailing natasha.hinde@huffpost.com