Staff at small Columbus County elementary school help raise money to bury custodian’s brother

Teachers and staff rallied around to help co-worker with funeral expenses

EVERGREEN, N.C. (WECT) -Jacqueline Watson’s trip to the local cemetery is bittersweet. Her brother, who lived with her 30 years, passed away in mid-August. Weeks later, there’s the delay in burial because the money’s just not there.

“I feel so lonely with him gone” says Watson. “This has been very hard.”

Jacqueline’s a custodian at Evergreen Elementary School, in Columbus County. She’s one of two. She shared her struggle with her supervisor and that struggle made its way to the principal’s office.

“God works in mysterious ways” says principal Georgia Spaulding. “But, this is what people do, or should be doing; helping people who may need a hand.”

Georgia Spaulding knows of Jacqueline’s work ethic. She works tirelessly, helping the students and staff, stay healthy by keeping the school clean, without complaining.

“She’s never sitting down” says Spaulding. “She’s wet down with sweat a lot of days, you never see her sitting down.”

Spaulding sent a text to 62 people telling them of Jacqueline’s struggle. Her brother had no insurance and the burial is expensive. Within hours, money starting coming i

“We came together and helped as we could” says Spaulding. “We have to teach our kids to be great people and better citizens. We have to love one another and treat people the way we would like to be treated.”

The effort left Jacqueline speechless. “It surprised me because you don’t see too many people who want to help you or will help you” says Jacqueline. “They just took it upon themselves to do this for me and I am so grateful for their support and help.”

The school and members of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, in Whiteville, have donated more than 800 dollars to help with the burial.

“I’m just so grateful, humbled really” said Jacqueline, while she was cleaning the girl’s bathroom of the elementary school. “It makes me grateful in my heart to realize there are people out there who’ve been so willing to help.”

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