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School custodian awarded with $35,000 gratitude gift



  • Raymond Brown, a school’s head custodian, “works really hard to build relationships with students.”
  • He was nominated for a school hero award but he didn’t get it.
  • So a mom of a special child whom Raymond made friends with began a campaign to raise a special gift for him, which awarded him with a $35,000 token of gratitude!

A good reward always awaits true heroes, even if they least expect it.

The story of Raymond Brown, head custodian at Edenton’s White Oak Elementary, can attest to this.

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

Last year, Raymond was nominated for the North Carolina School Hero Award, but he didn’t take it home.

Probably, that was not too much of a big deal for Raymond, but somebody else was hurt that he didn’t get the award he deserves: Adrian Wood, mom of a student with whom Raymond made a special friendship.

Adrian’s son, Amos, has autism which makes it somehow difficult for him to make friends. And Adrian knows that. She knows that the usual school-related worries of her other two children are much more challenging when it comes to Amos. But, Raymond changed that.

“He got attached to me and I got attached to him, so I gave him the name Famous Amos,” Raymond told WRAL.

Photo Credit: Tales of an Educated Debutante/Facebook

“[Mr. Brown] welcomed my son,” Adrian told WITN. “And when the most popular man in school gives you a nice nickname, it draws other children in. All the kids started talking to him. Even now, if you walk down the hall, you’ll hear children say, ‘There’s Famous Amos! Hey, Famous Amos!’”

As a mom of a child with special needs, Adrian felt happy seeing how her kid’s life in school has been tremendously made better, all because of this custodian hero. So, Adrian led an entire community to honor Raymond when he failed to take the School Hero Award.

Adrian used her Facebook blog, Tales of an Educated Debutante, to make things right for Raymond. Within only a week, she raised $35,000 from nearly 2,000 people around the globe!


I cried when I heard the news. I’m not much of a crier, at least over losing a contest. I’m not competitive, but this…Posted by Tales of an Educated Debutante on Sunday, March 7, 2021

On March 20, in a surprise ceremony that coincided with Raymond and his wife’s 38th wedding anniversary, people close to him gathered to honor and award him “The Famous Amos Award,” along with the $35,000 donation as a special gift of thanks.

“I just hope that people will look around and see…it’s not hard to do — it’s not hard to be kind and it’s not hard to recognize kindness,” Raymond told WITN.

Of course, the most precious tribute came from Amos himself, who simply said, “I love you, Mr. Brown.”

Source: Good News Network