‘It’s a small blessing’: South Carolina school surprises custodian with a new car


GREENWOOD, S.C. (WSPA) — A Greenwood, South Carolina community rallied came together to help one of their hardest working school employees after they saw him having trouble getting to work.

Hodges Elementary School is home to about 300 students, 30 teachers, and one very special staff member who recently received a gift he says will change his life forever.

His name is Robert Williams, but students call him Mr. Robert.

“This isn’t a job where you say good morning and you go about your business. This is a job where you say ‘Good morning, how are you today?’ and that means how are you today,” Williams said.

Williams does the work that most people don’t want to do, like mopping the floors and scrubbing the windows. And he does it with a bright smile, getting to know everyone he crosses paths with.

“If you were to stop and tell me how you are, I’m going to stand there and listen to you,” he said.

For years, Williams has driven an old pickup truck to and from the school. But the already tough job got a little tougher when the truck started to break down. “Bit by bit things kept happening,” he said.

It became a burden, and even though Williams still had that bright smile, staff caught wind of the issue.

It wasn’t long before he was surprised with a brand-new car, which was a gift from the school’s staff.

“It’s a small blessing, just a little wish,” Williams said. “Just a step like this, for them to keep me here, and to keep me coming is very important.”

Williams says every time he gets into the car he’ll think about “how much people care for me made this happen. Every time I ever look at it, that’s what I think. It’s there and it exists because other people cared about me more than I ever imagined.”

He isn’t sporting his new vehicle quite yet. Williams said he’s waiting for some tags to come in the mail. He said he’s so excited for the day he can ride through town and wave to everyone in his new car.

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