Beloved Crossing Guard Hands Out Free Coats to Middle School Students Who May Not Have One

If there’s anything that tugs at a parent’s heartstrings, it’s stories about random acts of kindness that prove to our kids (and to ourselves) that the world really is full of good people after all. As a mom trying to raise good humans in what can often be a cruel world, I am grateful for people like Minnie Galloway.

“Ms. Minnie” (as the kids call her) has been the crossing guard at Trask Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina for the past 19 years. Known for greeting the kids with a smile and a wave, Ms. Minnie is bright spot in the lives of these students, and it does not go unnoticed. Kayla Thomas, teacher at nearby Laney High School, says she sees the good things Ms. Minnie does every single day, and shared her most recent act of kindness on Facebook earlier this month — where it’s since gone viral.

“So the same sweet lady stands at the crosswalk every day in front of Laney and Trask,” wrote Thomas in her post. “She always waves and looks just so happy to be at the crosswalk, helping the kids cross safely. Today I noticed that she had a rack of coats by her car, and signs saying ‘free coats’ posted everywhere.”

As a teacher who knows her students don’t always have their basic needs met, Thomas was touched by Minnie’s kind heart, adding in her post, “It took every ounce of restraint in my body not to put the car in park and get out and hug this woman, to thank her for using her free time to keep our students safe and for giving coats to people who may not have them.”

I am a former teacher myself, and I know what gestures like this mean to kids. For many who don’t have a coat but are too embarrassed or ashamed to ask for a handout, having someone give them one, asking nothing in return, speaks volumes. It sends the message to these kids that they matter and that they deserve what other kids have.

And Thomas feels the same way.

“I also really love the fact that Ms. Minnie gives students who use the crosswalk a positive experience before they get to school,” she tells Babble. “Sometimes students don’t have positive experiences before they arrive at school for the day, and knowing that Ms. Minnie is able to greet them with a smile and something they could possibly need, it makes my heart happy.”

Thomas also shares with Babble that Minnie is known to provide umbrellas to kids on rainy days and school supplies at the beginning of school. And it’s precisely this generosity that’s touching hearts across Wilmington.

“The community response has been astounding,”she adds. “Several local news stations were able to interview Ms. Minnie, which definitely gave her some community wide recognition that she deserved!”

I could not agree more. Although it’s pretty clear that Ms. Minnie doesn’t do these acts of kindness for any sort of recognition or notoriety, she does deserve some praise for making the world a better place and being an agent for good in the lives of Trask Middle School students.

Thank you, Ms. Minnie, for your love and generosity and for letting Trask students know that they matter and deserve to be warm this winter.

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