Generous Donor Surprises Students by Paying Their School Fees
by Marcus Washington
GREENBRIER, Tenn. - Back-to-school can be a great time, but it got even better for the families of Greenbrier students when they found out someone stepped in, and paid all their school fees.
It's back to school time and everyone from parents to former students understands what that means.
"We need so many supplies throughout the year; we need paper, pencils, notebooks, dividers and markers. Those supplies are all consumable and in the hands of 4th graders they don't last very long." said 4th grade teacher Brandy Fentress.
Greenbrier Elementary School students are asked to contribute $25 to make sure supplies are in the classroom when needed, but most years Fentress says it's a waiting game.
"We just have to wait for the supply fees from the parents to trickle in and they do trickle in. They don't come in quickly and many parents can't afford to pay them," she said.
Insurance agent and former teacher himself Dicky Richard says two years ago he heard about that $25 fee and while driving down the street he felt the need to help out, so he decided to reach into his own pockets.
"I don't know who they are and I didn't want to be selective, that is not my job. So, I just said, how about doing it for all of them," said Richard
For two years, Richard has paid that fee for more than 80 students all together.
It's a selfless gesture, but Richard insists the reward is in knowing each student has what they need to succeed.
"I don't think he expected a thank you at all. We're glad to thank him and I wish we could do more," said 5th grade Greenbrier Elementary School teacher Lea Anne Kouzouglidis.
Richards help doesn't stop with monetary donations, he also volunteers his time.
He's even donated more than 100 small trees, which he gave to students during Arbor Day.