Tennessee school raises money to surprise custodian with money for new car

Custodian Robert Reed hugs a teacher who helped raise money to buy him a car. (WMC via NBC News Channel)

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (WTHR) — A Tennessee elementary school stepped up for one of its staff members after noticing the effort he has to put in to get to work.

Robert Reed is a beloved custodian at Farmington Elementary School. He loves his job — so much so that he's willing to take multiple buses and walk miles just to get to work every day.

"Let's say I get off at 3 p.m.," Reed told NBC affiliate WMC. "Then I get home around 7 p.m. ... I have to catch three buses and walk 2 miles."

Reed said teachers help him by dropping him off at the bus stop and even chipping in some money when he didn't have it.

But on Wednesday, his fellow staff members and parents at the school took their generosity a step further and told him they had started a GoFundMe account to help him get his own truck.

"We started a GoFundMe 21 hours ago," teacher Elizabeth Malone told him. "And we've raised $7,000 for you to buy a new truck."

Within one day of the campaign's launch, it had received $9,500 in donations, just short of the $10,000 goal. By Friday, donors had blown the goal out of the water. Nearly 600 people had donated more than $28,000.

"His work ethic is unbelievable, and we want our kids to pick up on that," Malone said. "Not only to have a good work ethic, but also if you see someone in need, try to help. It's important to do that."

Reed called it a joy to work at the school.

"I love these people up here," Reed said. "And I couldn't have made it without them."

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