Hello, my name is Ida. I am a former student at Brentfield Elementary school in Dallas, Texas. I am seeking financial help for Jeffery Ballard, the fun-loving custodian at Brentfield. You may also know him by his nickname, "Superman" or as "Mr. Jeff."
I recently learned that Mr. Jeff got diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and has been battling it like the superhero he is ever since.
However, his recovery has been slow and he is unable to work due to his reduced lung capacity. He has been living with others as he can no longer afford a place of his own. He is now staying at a hotel/extended stay that allows him to rent by the week. His car is on its last leg. He needs our help.
For decades, the lives of the students at Brentfield have been substantially changed by the presence of this kind, energetic man. Mr. Jeff kept the school in perfect shape and yet still made time to put a smile on each of our faces everyday. He has an infectious laugh and could always cheer up any student who was feeling down.
Most impressively, he always remembered each child he met. Every time I visited him over the years, he still remembered my name and details about my life. He would ask about my mom and how my family was doing. He is the most unselfish, loving person and although he will never fully know the significance he had in our lives, it is important to me that we try our very best to show him.
Of all the great teachers and staff I learned from at Brentfield, Mr. Jeff will always stand out the most and I know many of my fellow Bobcats would concur. He taught us the importance of being kind to one another. He taught us the importance of respecting one another. He taught us the importance of laughter. While he may not have held the title of "teacher" at the school, he taught me more life lessons than any curriculum ever could have.
Maya Angelou once said “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I am now 23 years old. Many years have passed since I graduated elementary school. And while I will never remember every interaction I had with Mr. Jeff, I will always palpably remember the joy he made me feel. Jeffery made me feel like I mattered. Let's show him how much he matters to us.
- Jane Baldwin
- Pam Bayless
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