Lakewood Elementary School students and parents in Dallas, Texas have spent the last decade gifted with immense peace of mind when it comes to walking to and from school every day.
Nathaniel Kendrick has been the crossing guard for Lakewood for the last 10 years, helping children safely arrive at their classrooms every morning and helping them get home without incident every afternoon.
He’s always got a smile for the kids and takes their safety and wellbeing seriously — but his own wellbeing has been pushed a bit to the wayside. When he isn’t working as the school’s crossing guard, he’s at home caring for his terminally ill wife, who has taken a turn for the worse.
It hasn’t been easy, but Kendrick is loyal to the core.
“My mother told me,” he explained, “long before she passed… take care of your wife.”
That’s been his goal, and he’s been trying his very best.
As her medical bills start to pile up, though, his financial situation had grown dire. So dire, in fact, that his car was repossessed with little he could do to fix the situation; as all of his spare funds went to caring for his wife, it didn’t seem possible to replace the repossessed vehicle any time soon.
The community he cares for found out, though —- and after all he’s done for them, a group of dads at the school decided they’d do something in return.
The group are a part of an organization called Friends of Lakewood, who make up a 450-parent strong group of dads at the school dedicated to helping out around the community and in the classroom.
Without him knowing, the dads went out and bought Kendrick a new car to replace the one he had repossessed. They then drove it to the school, presenting it to him in front of the camera to capture his reaction for everyone.
First, they parked the car right in the crosswalk.
Putting the safety of the kids he helps first, Kendrick asked the men to move the car — and when they wouldn’t, he went to put his foot down.
Instead, one of the dads dangled the keys in front of him.
“You want to move it for us?” the dad, Russell McMillan, asked.
Kendrick, looking annoyed, shook his head. “No,” he insisted.
McMillan didn’t back down. “But it’s yours,” he explained, moving the keys closer to Kendrick. That’s when the crossing guard realized what was happening.
“My car?” he asked.
“Your car,” McMillan confirmed, giving him a hug. Cheers went up from the other contributing parents, who then surrounded Kendrick and McMillan to give the beloved community figure an embrace.
It certainly wasn’t a small gesture — the Mercury is in great condition, and looks perfect for Kendrick and his ailing wife — but it’s one that the community needed to perform, as they explained to Kendrick.
He hadn’t missed a day of work, even though his home situation couldn’t have been easy — and they wanted to make sure that he knew exactly how valued he was.
The crime of parking in the crosswalk, needless to say, was quickly forgiven.