There is much more than meets the eye when it comes to the janitor at Tucker High School in Georgia.
For a long time, Carolyn Collins had been simply doing her job; mopping floors, emptying trash cans and ensuring the bathrooms were well-stocked. But about three years ago, her role changed dramatically following a chance encounter with a couple of students.
At the start of the school day, she was approached by a pair of youngsters who said they were starving and had nowhere else to go. They pleaded with her for help. Carolyn was heartbroken by their dire situation and was moved to serve them in any way she could.
Carolyn turned to the minimal resources she had available at the time. She did what she could, but she knew it wouldn’t be enough.
So, this amazing woman decided to transform one of the school closets into a supply room that specifically stocked food, clothing, and resources for students and their families who have fallen on hard times.
Now, she says that she opens her special supply closet for around 30 kids a year, most of whom have nowhere else to turn.
“These are our babies. They want to learn, and some of them are sleeping in cars, some of them are sleeping in hotels, and I just want to take care of them,” Collins told 11 Alive.
“This stuff is for them to snack on,” she said, pointing out a box of energy bars amid the vast amount of blankets, school supplies and canned goods that packed out the closet.
Carolyn was motivated to help other young people after experiencing a personal tragedy with her own son – he was murdered during a horrific home invasion robbery. She is determined to see as many young people as possible avoid a criminal lifestyle and embrace a positive future.
“I’m just trying to stop our young boys from stealing and killing,” Collins declared.
“They are homeless, and they are crying out for help and love. I’m trying to give them all they need in this closet, so they don’t have to go out and try to steal or take from anyone.”
Collins has become something of an expert in identifying those students who are suffering from abuse or neglect. She is always reminding the teachers to be vigilant for those kids who need a little extra assistance – and makes it clear to them that she is always around to lend a helping hand.
“I tell the teachers a lot, if you see a child always with their head down, with the same clothes on day after day, let me know!”
Carolyn said the closet is funded mainly out of her own pocket – a huge sacrifice for someone on a low income. Still, she does it because she cares deeply about the kids and desires to see them thrive as they progress through their education and into adult life.
For Collins, helping others has become an integral part of her daily work. It is what she loves to do.
“I’m doing something for the kids every day. It is part of my job,” she said.
If you wish to donate to this incredible work, you can post your contribution to the front desk of Tucker High School at the attention of Carolyn Collins:
Tucker High School
5036 Lavista Rd
Tucker, GA 30084