Formerly Homeless Man Repays Student’s Kindness by Donating $10K to School

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Courtesy CommonDreams.org

Courtesy CommonDreams.org

The kind actions of two students paid off big time for an Illinois high school this past February.

Three years ago, students Ryan Kodat and Luke Arnold saw a seemingly homeless drifter walking without a jacket through a blizzard in the town of Dwight. The two provided the man with a coat and money for a train ticket.

The man, Wade Herter, used the ticket to visit his ailing father in Springfield. Herter’s father would die afterward, but that’s when Herter received the surprise of his life.

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Herter learned his father had left him an estate of $1.2 million dollars. Herter elected to move to California to pursue his writing and comedy interests, but first wanted to repay the kindness of the students. He chose to do so by donating $10,000 to their alma mater, Dwight High School.

Courtesy DwightAlliance.org

Courtesy DwightAlliance.org

School board member and Dwight Police Chief Tim Henson praised the boys for their actions, saying, “It instills faith in humanity that our younger generation will pick up where their fathers, mothers and grandparents left off.”

Dr. Richard Janeck, the superintendent of the school district, announced that the school is going to use the money to award $500 to two students each year for acts of humanitarianism.

In speaking to how the students will be chosen, Janeck said, “Applicants will be asked to describe a time when they went above and beyond to help a friend, family member, or stranger, and expected nothing in return.”

Janeck stressed that the money was not a scholarship, and could be used toward whatever next step the chosen students will take after graduation. He also indicated that Kodat and Arnold would be involved on the committee to choice the recipients.

As we can see, one good act can reverberate far beyond our original intention.

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