A woman who works for the dining hall at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University is so beloved by students that they raised nearly $2,500 to send her on her dream trip.
According to the Arizona Republic, Chicago native Vicke Davis, 59, has worked as an employee at Barrett in Tempe for the past three years. A popular fixture at the college, whose daily Snapchat stories she is often featured in, Davis is known to check up on students’ lives at every meal.
“Vicke is obviously a star component of the Barrett experience,” sophomore Hannah Houts told the Republic. “She knows all my family. … She sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to my dad once even though it wasn’t his birthday — because he was getting cake.”
During the fall semester, junior Quintin Woods asked Davis what her “dream trip” would be as she swiped his meal card.
She immediately replied “the Northern Lights,” the colorful light displays often seen in the night skies of the Earth’s magnetic poles. She told Woods that she had heard the lights, also known as aurora borealis, would dance to a watcher’s song or whistle.
On Thursday, Woods and around 100 other students descended on Davis’s cash register to surprise her with an oversized check for almost $2.500, according to the Republic. The check was printed on a colorful image of aurora borealis.
“See, that’s why I love my babies,” Davis, crying, yelled as Woods handed her check and a camera to document her trip. “No wonder I was seeing you all today; I haven’t seen you all in a year!”
Touched by her “kind actions” and wanting to “give back,” Woods, 20, raised the money through a crowdfunding campaign he started on GoFundMe on Christmas Eve.
“Everyday Vicke comes to work with a smile on her face and the goal to make the days of each of her ‘babies’ just that much better,” Woods wrote on the campaign page. “Many of us will go to swipe in for a meal in the midst of a long and stressful day and Vicke will provide the caring attitude that makes our day just a little bit better.”
His goal of $2,000 was met by more than 150 people in less than 48 hours. The final tally was $2,486, which will allow Davis to travel to Canada to see the Northern Lights during ASU’s spring break in March.
“It’s not necessarily surprising because I know how well-liked she is, but still,” Woods told the Republic. “It’s pleasantly surprising that it was an immediate ‘boom’ effort.”
Thank you to everyone who made this possible 😍 we love our Barrett momma pic.twitter.com/lGzhYzwnSB
— P Fitz (@paigefitzgerald) January 21, 2016
“I told them the first day, I left all my babies in Chicago, so they my babies now. I love my babies. They’re sweet,” Davis said after she hugged every student that showed up.
She added: “Each one of them is gonna get a whooping. They could use that money on themselves. Y’all spoil me, but y’all my favorite babies and you know it. I gotta bring back a lot of key chains.”