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A stranger gave a Colorado grocery cashier $100 when he learned she's also a 3rd-grade teacher

Amanda Garner burst into tears Thursday while working her second job, thanks to a stranger who recognized the financi...

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 10:47 PM
Updated: Apr 27, 2018 10:47 PM

Amanda Garner burst into tears Thursday while working her second job, thanks to a stranger who recognized the financial struggles she faces as a teacher in Colorado.

That same day, Garner had rallied at the state Capitol for better pay and school resources. The effort continued Friday as part of a wave of teacher actions across several states in support of more money for public education.

After Thursday's rally in Denver, as Garner manned the checkout lane at a grocery store, a man came through "proudly wearing his #RedForEd sticker," she told CNN. The hashtag and the color have become symbols of support among educators and the community for teachers' demands.

Garner, who teaches third grade, smiled and showed him the sticker she'd hidden on the underside of her apron.

"You have to work here, too?" the man asked, referring to the grocery. Garner said yes, then chatted with the man, who said his wife had been a teacher for 40 years.

They shook hands, and he thanked her for her commitment to the classroom.

Then, about an hour later, the man returned to buy some cookies. While checking out, he handed Garner an envelope and said, "For the teacher."

"I didn't get a chance to look at it for a bit, so I just smiled and put it in my apron," Garner recalled.

When she finally opened the envelope during a break, she found two $50 bills.

"I just cried," Garner said.

'Really hard to make ends meet'

Garner, who has been teaching for six years, works at the store in the Denver suburb of Lakewood on Thursdays and Saturdays during the school year and picks up "as many hours as they'll let me have" during breaks and over the summer, she told CNN. She also tutors twice a week.

Garner says her basic expenses -- rent, car payment and student loans -- eat up 74% of her take-home pay, not counting food, bills and the money she spends to outfit her classroom. Colorado's average teacher salary ranks 31st in the country, according to the National Education Association.

"It's really hard to make ends meet on 15% of my take-home," she said.

Garner knew she'd never get rich as a teacher. Still, she said, "being a teacher shouldn't be synonymous with poverty, and that's one of the big reasons teachers are speaking out right now."

There was no note in the envelope with the $100, so Garner didn't know how to thank "the kind gentleman with a British accent." But she wants him to know it's appreciated.

"You have no idea how much of a difference that made," she wrote on Facebook.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1005797

Reported Deaths: 16449
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1353572119
Lake663011164
Allen57820801
Hamilton46296464
St. Joseph44311613
Elkhart35888509
Vanderburgh32214480
Tippecanoe27898258
Johnson25056445
Hendricks23854359
Porter22890365
Madison18724409
Clark18540252
Vigo17449303
Monroe15242199
LaPorte15124250
Delaware15043261
Howard14719289
Kosciusko12285147
Hancock11709175
Bartholomew11602180
Warrick11287189
Floyd11082215
Wayne10965253
Grant10051220
Morgan9457176
Boone8913116
Dubois8263131
Dearborn820893
Henry8200152
Noble8017106
Marshall7916135
Cass7528121
Lawrence7447171
Shelby7176119
Jackson697289
Gibson6584115
Harrison647591
Knox6418106
Huntington6385100
DeKalb630699
Montgomery6252110
Miami592298
Putnam580078
Clinton574971
Whitley564255
Steuben560676
Wabash5324104
Jasper529879
Jefferson510297
Ripley499886
Adams481576
Daviess4670114
Scott438574
Greene424496
Wells423088
Clay422060
White418164
Decatur4164102
Fayette406187
Jennings386661
Posey376644
LaGrange357678
Washington357651
Randolph344499
Spencer339543
Fountain334760
Sullivan328652
Starke316470
Owen314170
Fulton309467
Orange293564
Jay284145
Franklin265443
Perry265352
Rush261332
Carroll261133
Vermillion257754
Parke231126
Pike228843
Tipton227559
Blackford192642
Pulaski183457
Crawford159223
Newton157848
Benton150217
Brown146147
Martin138219
Switzerland134911
Warren121016
Union107016
Ohio84513
Unassigned0540

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1511760

Reported Deaths: 23616
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1636861666
Cuyahoga1457252442
Hamilton1050421416
Montgomery737101254
Summit614971105
Lucas56058912
Butler51383711
Stark464421056
Lorain35443584
Warren32687373
Mahoning30598675
Clermont28106326
Lake26907443
Delaware24114162
Licking23820287
Trumbull22742556
Fairfield22309246
Greene22212320
Medina21941311
Clark19757351
Richland18500285
Portage17857250
Wood17394221
Allen15905269
Miami15487299
Muskingum14737185
Columbiana13940269
Wayne13722265
Tuscarawas12643304
Marion11906175
Scioto11432161
Pickaway11346141
Erie10811181
Ross10532198
Lawrence9725153
Ashtabula9658200
Hancock9649150
Belmont9262206
Geauga8906157
Jefferson8531197
Huron8338141
Union816557
Washington8066138
Sandusky7790148
Athens773676
Knox7679141
Darke7618155
Seneca7306144
Ashland6917126
Auglaize678097
Shelby6493113
Brown633387
Crawford6245130
Defiance6162103
Mercer612893
Fulton599296
Highland596899
Madison592176
Guernsey583468
Logan582795
Clinton581191
Preble5692122
Putnam5301108
Williams526185
Perry516563
Champaign510372
Jackson506571
Ottawa484086
Coshocton478783
Morrow456656
Pike432763
Fayette427461
Hardin416678
Gallia416266
Adams415392
Van Wert369579
Henry362571
Holmes3619123
Hocking355579
Wyandot322261
Carroll300659
Paulding279147
Meigs263350
Monroe214854
Noble198946
Morgan193232
Harrison180143
Vinton165125
Unassigned05
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