Anderson County High School is located in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Between 2014 and 2015, there were 1,153 students enrolled in the school. In particular, the institution is recognized for its successful basketball training program. Indeed, former students have gone on to become college athletes and even part of the NBA.
In 2014, Jacob was living in Italy. And that’s because the couple’s son was in the Navy; he had been stationed in the European country for three years. But the ten-hour flight time, on top of the cost of air travel, meant that it was difficult for Jacob’s parents to get to see him.
When staff at the high school got wind of Spaulding’s family situation, they wanted to do something to help out. So they came up with a plan and enlisted the nearly 1,200 pupils to help put it into action. Then, on the final day of the school year, they held a pep rally.
Then, Spaulding was summoned into the room to help with a clean-up job. “Somebody has made a huge mess again in this gymnasium,” Chris Glass, the high school principal, said into a microphone. “Oh no. What to do?”
The trash can held a load of cash that the students had secretly collected. In addition, Spaulding also received a check. In total, the pupils and faculty had come together to raise $1,900 to go towards a trip to Italy to see his son and meet his new grandchild.
As a janitor who knows the ins and outs of the district, it was a surprise to Spaulding that everyone managed to hide this for so long. “I was shocked,” he told Yahoo’s Trending Now site. “And the bad thing about it is, my wife was in on this as well.”
It wasn’t long before Jacob also found out the happy news after seeing a Facebook post. “I Skyped with that afternoon and he said, ‘Dad, I heard you had a pretty good day today.’ I said, ‘Yeah, it was a pretty good day!’” Spaulding recalled to Yahoo News.
The entire family managed to get together in the United States that summer. Then the following year, the janitor shared photos from his overseas trip on Facebook. Indeed, Spaulding posed for pictures cuddling his two granddaughters as well as doing some sightseeing, including visiting the Coliseum in Rome.
Others claimed the story gave them hope and served as an important reminder to show gratitude to those that do their part to help others. “So often we forget about those who work behind the scenes or in this case even right in front of us,” one person shared. “It is fantastic that the school recognized all of his hard work and hopefully they have a great time in Italy.”