Rich kids, known for flaunting their wealth on social media, have done something nice for a change.
The students at an elite all-girls private school in Texas collectively raised over $180,000 on GoFundMe as a retirement gift for their beloved security guard, Kifleab Tekle. The Hockaday School, which charges an estimated $24,040 for elementary and $53,285 for high school boarding tuition, boasts wealthy and notable alumni that includes former President George W. Bush’s daughters, Barbara and Jenna.
Hockaday’s well-known security guard, Tekle, who students liken to Hagrid from Harry Potter, has served at the school for 30 years. To thank him for his years of service, members of the class of 2005 set up a campaign to raise $2,005 for Tekle, who students refer to as “Kief.”
Abby Hoak Morton, a teacher and graduate from the Hockaday class of 2005, was among the people who set up the crowdfunding campaign. She told the Dallas Morning News:
“I had no idea it would get to this point.”
The GoFundMe page saw donations roll in as graduates of all years began pledging to the campaign. As of today, the GoFundMe has raised over $180,000 that was contributed by 1,740 individuals in a matter of eight days. Eugene McDermott Headmistress Liza Lee released a statement:
“For 30 years, Kief was the emperor of the parking lot and carpool, and for all those years, Kief has been the heart and soul of Hockaday. He has given us lessons in grace, lessons in courtesy and lessons in love.”
A photo posted by Emily McCombs Frisby (@emfrisby) on Apr 11, 2016 at 3:34pm PDT
Amy Patrick, a structural engineer and graduate of the class of 2000 said of Tekle:
“When someone as pivotal in the community as Kief announces his retirement, it’s breathtaking, but not entirely surprising the entire community has rallied like this. He kept us safe. And he fought for safety.”
The monetary gift will be presented to Tekle during a private retirement ceremony on Monday. Tekle said in a statement:
“I was not expecting such a big farewell. It means stability for my family.”
Tekle was originally born in Ethiopia to a rich family that lost their fortune with the fall of the monarchy in the early 1970s. He was exiled after being arrested for working with a Russian textile company. Tekle then moved to Eritrea before settling in Sudan and landing a gig as an immigration interpreter.
He later made his way to Dallas in the United States with help from a sponsorship by a Christian charity in 1986. A couple of years later he was hired at The Hockaday school.