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Students Get Together To Support Their School Janitor So He Can Stop Working Overtime And Be With His Wife At Home

Photo: TikTok
James Willis TikTok

The students and faculty of Davis Junior High got together to support their school’s janitor while he and his wife went through a tough time.

“Mr. Willis, this is from all the students here at Davis Junior High,” a voice off-camera explained while filming janitor James Willis opening a gift box. Willis read the attached note out loud, fighting back tears as he did so.

The students rallied together to support the janitor so he could stop working overtime and be with his sick wife.

“Dear Mr. James Willis, first I would like to thank you for all your hard work. I know you’re going through difficult times dealing with your wife’s cancer,” Willis read, his voice trembling with emotion.

Photo: TikTok

“You spend a lot of time at our school helping us and making sure that everything is set up straight and cleaning up our messes, even though you’re dealing with your own mess at home. Your wife is all alone while you’re here with us and you never complain. You always come through with a smile and we always love hearing you singing those tunes you sing from back in the day.”

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James Willis had to work overtime to support his wife through illness, so the students at school got together to take care of him.

“We really love you and we really appreciate everything that you do for us,” the letter continued. “People go through a lot of hard times, and I’ve never experienced anything like this, and neither has anyone in this school. So, we appreciate everything that you’re doing. We know this letter is something simple, so we all got together and put a lot more gifts into this box to give to you and your wife. We hope it can help you through this hard time just as much as you help us.”

The letter stated, “We love Mrs. Willis like she’s our own because you are part of us and that makes her family as well. We don’t think your wife should be fighting that battle alone, and we know you’ve gotta work to support her, so from all the students, staff, and faculty, we got you something.” 



Willis was then presented with a check for $20,000 to help offset medical expenses and allow him time to be with his wife.

The students’ generous gift to Willis shows the incredible importance of community care in a society without built-in social structures to help people in need.

A woman named Gabrielle posted a response video in TikTok with an inspiring message. She exclaimed, “For the 10,000th time, I thought to myself, why do we wait? Why do we wait to acknowledge people until their wives are dying of cancer or battling cancer or until someone is gone completely and we’re giving their eulogy?”



Her response post makes a valuable point— we don’t have to wait until something dire is going on in anyone’s life to share that we appreciate them.

Gabrielle ended her post with a call to action, saying, “If there is somebody that you’ve thought to yourself, ‘I should say something to them,’ make today that day, because it makes such a difference for people to be seen, for people to know that what they do matters.”   

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.