Janitor, 80, Comes Out Of Retirement When His Rent Is Raised

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When an 80-year-old man’s rent was raised by $400, he humbly returned to his janitorial work in the local high school. Once students noticed the elderly gentleman cleaning their messes, they decided to do something incredible.

An elderly gentleman, affectionately known as Mr. James, came out of retirement to work as a janitor to pay his bills. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

If a person is blessed to live to the age of 80, spending the rest of their days in peace and quiet is typically the goal. Most wouldn’t even consider heading back into the workforce, especially not a menial job that is both physically and mentally demanding. So, when teens suddenly noticed an octogenarian in their midst, they knew the situation must have been dire for him to return to the chaotic halls of a public high school.

Affectionately known as Mr. James, the 80-year-old gentleman came out of retirement to take up the role of janitor when his rent was unexpectedly raised by $400 a month. Unable to afford the bill on his meager pension, he quietly found employment at Callisburg High School in Texas.

The 80-year-old janitor, affectionately known as Mr. James, started working at Callisburg High School after his rent was raised by $400. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Moved by the humble janitor’s plight, three students decided they had to act. Utilizing their social media prowess, they recorded a short clip of their beloved custodian and uploaded it to Tik Tok with a plea for help, The Blaze reported.

“Hey guys I’m having a fundraiser for our janitor who is struggling to pay his rent. He had to leave retirement to continue to pay his rent that was raised. Just a little will change his life!!” the description read.

The students launched an online fundraiser with the hope of raising $10,000 for Mr. James. They never could have expected that the video would go viral, sparking a flood of donations for the sweet elderly man.

Only a week after opening the GoFundMe account, the students raised more than $200,000 to put toward a proper retirement for Mr. James. Even the students were overwhelmed by the amount of support they received.

“It’s crazy to see something that, we knew people would have wanted to help,” said senior Marti Yousko, “But we didn’t know it would blow up.”

The students were thrilled that the campaign took off. They hope to use the money to help Mr. James live out the rest of his years comfortably without worrying about paying his bills.

“It’s just so sad seeing an 80-year-old man having to do things an 80-year-old shouldn’t have to do,” said Callisburg senior Banner Tidwell.

Students created a campaign to raise $10,000 for Mr. James, never expecting that the move would go viral. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

When the students told Mr. James about the fundraiser, he couldn’t believe his ears. After the account has far surpassed the goal, his only worry should be figuring out how to incorporate all the money into his humble lifestyle.

“When we told him, he was kind of like, ‘dang, that’s alright!'” said Callisburg senior Marti Yousko, who had the idea to start the campaign.

“Nobody deserves to work their whole life. They deserve to enjoy everything,” said student Greyson Thurman, who posted the campaign.

Mr. James declined all interviews with the media, according to initial reports. He merely wanted to continue working and living with a sense of normalcy.

In only a week, the campaign raised more than $200,000 for Mr. James, the beloved janitor. (Photo Credit: Provided)

The school district confirmed that Mr. James was still employed at the high school after news of the viral fundraiser spread. Although he is surely set for life, he seemed to have no immediate plan to quit his job. After seeing the love and care from the students, he is more than happy to continue serving the future generation.

It’s refreshing to see young people rally together to help an elderly community member who is so different than themselves. We must continue to invest in and foster these values in younger generations if we want to see change for the better.