William Manning nicknamed “Wild Bill” has been Arvada High’s janitor for over 14 years. Despite his funky nickname, he is appreciated by everyone for his kind nature, enthusiasm and genuine care for students. He is also one of school sports club’s biggest fan who never misses their games and matches.
But one day, his car got stolen from the parking lot outside of his apartment. “I was devastated. When I realized the car was gone, I just dropped to my knees and cried. That car was my pride and joy. I worked really hard for it and I just couldn’t bare to see it gone”, he explains.
Students and other school employees heard about Bill’s misfortune. They knew very well just how much Bill loved his car and how much more he will have to work to buy himself a new one. “It was more than obvious how devastated he was. He just looked exhausted and depressed”, said John Fonseca, one of the seniors.
John and his fellow students felt so sorry for Bill that they decided to help him however they can. They started a fund raiser to help Bill get up on his feet. The kids jumped at the chance to help him out. And in just two days, they raised more than $4,200.
One day, they organized a surprise party for Bill. Once he entered the hallway, he was greeted by his fellow employees and students who told him that they raised enough money for him to buy a new car.
Bill was blown away by their kind gesture. “I love these kids. They are the reason I come to work every day. I knew they are all good-hearted, but I never thought that they would go through all this just to help me get back on my feet”, he said with a little drop of tear in his eyes.
He also thanked everyone for taking care of him. “These are my children here. This is my home. And this is where I’ll retire someday. Thank you all!”
Bill is currently driving a rental car, but he is planning on buying a new one within a couple of days. “I am still looking. And as always, I have my students to help me decide and find the right one for me.”
And while Bill is busy choosing a new ride, his students say that they were more than glad to help him out. “There is something special about Bill. He’s like a father to everyone. You just gotta love him. We are so glad we helped him out”, John said.