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School Surprises Hero Custodian With $35,000 Collected As Special Gift of Thanks

Adrian wood

The world is full of everyday heroes. People behind the scenes who do everything they can to make the world a better place for all of us. Sometimes they are recognized; many times they are not.

When Raymond Brown, the lead custodian at White Oak Elementary School in Edenton, failed to take home the North Carolina School Hero Award for which he had been nominated last year, an entire community, led by a determined mother, became gathered to let him know how much they appreciated him.

“It’s kind of our rock, the foundation of what we do here,” said White Oak Principal Michelle Newsome. WRAL. “Probably what makes Mr. Brown most special is that he works very hard to build relationships with students.”

No one knows this better than Adrian Wood, whose son Amos has formed a special bond with Brown. Amos has autism, which can make finding friends among his peers challenging. However, he and Brown encountered no such obstacle.

“He was fond of me and I was fond of him, so I named him ‘Famous Amos,'” Brown said. WRAL.

When the children at his school realized that there was something special between the 7-year-old boy and the school’s favorite adult, he helped them see Amos in a way they hadn’t seen before.

“[Mr. Brown] welcomed my son, “said Wood WITN. “And when the most popular man in school gives you a cute nickname, it attracts other kids. All the children started talking to him. Even now, if you walk down the hall, you will hear the children say, ‘There is the famous Amos! Hey, the famous Amos! And as the mother of a child with a disability, there is nothing else I want in the world that includes it. “

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With her two other children, Wood went through the usual school-related worries, but having a child with special needs was a completely different experience. “Sending Amos to school was a very different path,” he said. TODAY. “I was 3 years old when school started. He was in diapers and did not speak. But after Mr. Brown started greeting him and calling him Famous Amos’, Amos started saying ‘Hey Brown’ when he saw him. He wasn’t even saying ‘dad’ at the time, so it really was something. “

Wood admits to crying in frustration when he learned that Brown was passed over for the NC Heroes award, but instead of admitting defeat, he decided to find another way to honor him.

Wood used his Facebook blog, Tales of an educated debutante, as a platform to, as she saw it, correct a mistake. In one week, he had raised $ 35,000 from nearly 2,000 people around the world and had a plan in the works to shower Brown with the praise he deserved.

On March 20, in a surprise ceremony that coincided with the 38th wedding anniversary of Brown and his wife, the Browns’ eldest children along with hundreds of supporters, including the mayor of Edenton, the chief of police, and Miss North Carolina. , were present to sing the praises of their beloved custodian and present him with a $ 35,000 honorarium called “The Famous Amos Award.”

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“I just hope people look around and see … it’s not hard to do, it’s not hard to be nice, and it’s not hard to acknowledge kindness,” Wood said. WITN.

And so it is fitting that the most precious accolade for a small town hero comes from Amos himself, who simply said, “I love you, Mr. Brown.”

(WATCH the WRAL video of this story below).

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