LIVE

“This is going to go a very, very long way,” said North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby

By Maria Pasquini
January 29, 2021 02:25 PM
Advertisement

A high school principal in South Carolina is being recognized for working around the clock to help take care of his students.  

After learning about the economic hardships some of his students face, North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby took a second job at Walmart, working the overnight shift several days a week in order to raise funds for students in need, the Today show reported.

"I get emotional because when you've got children you've heard slept under a bridge, or a former student and her child are sleeping in a car...I wasn't going to say no," he said during a Today interview that aired Friday.

"At my age, we don't ask for money, we just don't," he added. "You just go ahead and do what you need to do."

Although news of Darby's generosity would eventually go viral, he initially kept the fact that he was working two jobs to himself — even from his manager at Walmart.  

"I didn't expect the attention," he said during a recent interview with WCBD. "I simply wanted to work for Walmart without fanfare and to use those resources for my students." 

"It leaked out and this is beyond my greatest imagination," he added during his Today show appearance, noting that he gets his sense of duty from his mother, who impressed on him the importance of giving back to his community without asking for anything in return. 

RELATED VIDEO: Mother Whose Reaction Went Viral to Son Passing Bar Exam Says She Was 'Just Being a Mama Bear'

In recognition of all of the work that Darby has put in on behalf of his students, Walmart reached out to Today in order to orchestrate a special surprise — presenting him with a $50,000 check.

"You're awesome and we appreciate you here at Walmart for all that you're doing to support your community," said his boss. 

"I'm speechless," Darby replied. "Thank you so very much. This is going to go a very, very long way." 

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday. Get a taste of the podcast below.

As for what the future holds, Darby said that he has no plans to step away from his second job and will continue using that paycheck for his students. 

"I'm going to stick with Walmart," he said.

A GoFundMe was also created earlier this month in order to help the principal raise funds — and ended up meeting its original goal of $20,000 within just 48 hours. As of Friday afternoon, the GoFundMe has already raised nearly $100,000.

Darby also told WCBD that someone who recently visited his office offered 10 separate $5,000 scholarships as well as an ongoing $1,000 donation for the next 12 months.