When it comes to education, there are lots of people we should be thanking for keeping our schools up and running. Teachers are generally the first to come to mind— but others, like janitors and lunch ladies, often don’t get the praise that they deserve.
For lunch ladies, in particular, negative stereotypes abound. “Almost all stereotypes about lunch ladies are bad,” the Friendship News Network explains.
“Most people think that your average lunch lady is fat, has a mole on her face, is mad at the world and is uncaring about what they slap on children’s plates.”
But lunch lady Deborah Davis from San Diego isn’t your average lunch lady.
Deborah (“Debbie”) Davis has been serving students in the San Diego Unified School District for the past 26 years.
Her kind soul and sassy personality have made her a favorite amongst the students and staff.
“I feed the kids, I prepare the food, I talk to them, I stop them from fighting,” Debbie told WGNTV.
“They don’t cuss, they have to respect, and they call me ‘Aunt Debbie.'”
Serving food isn’t just a job for Debbie, though. The kind-hearted woman considers herself to be a “servant” of the people. In addition to serving the kids, she also volunteers her time in nursing homes and homeless shelters, helping whoever may be in need.
Having spent so much time taking care of other people, Debbie hasn’t focused on herself as much as she should.
Each day, she risked her life driving a “death trap” of a car to work to serve her students.
The 1976 Chevy Malibu was in horrible condition, but Debbie had nicknamed it the “Transformer” and it was the only car that she had.
Recently, the district teamed up with State Farm Insurance for a project called “Recycled Rides”. It is described as “a unique program in which insurers, collision repairers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and others collaborate to repair and donate vehicles to deserving individuals and service organizations in local communities throughout the country.”
When the district had to decide who would be the first person to get a new car, “Auntie Debbie”, with all her selfless deeds, immediately came to mind.
“Debbie comes to campus every single day with a smile on her face, ready to take on the day and serve our students,” said Principal James Babineau.
Recycled Rides sent a 2014 Mazda 3 to another local high school. The school has a prestigious auto body program, and students in the class worked each day to fix the car’s dents and scratches.
“They are showing off their skills of repairing, and at the same time, giving away some of their work in the community,” auto body teacher Leonardo Zarate told ABC.
When the students ensured the car was in tip-top condition, it was time for the big reveal.
And when Debbie heard what the community had done for her, she completely broke down.
With her ever-changing emotions on display, the woman danced, wept, and laughed with joy. It was clear from her reaction, that the effort was worth the work they put in.
“I thank God that they see my spirit. So I want to tell them all thank you, ” Debbie said.
“No one has ever done anything like this for me.”
“I thought I was going to get my heaven in Heaven. But I got a little piece of Heaven right here.”
As for Transformer? Debbie acknowledges her old car may be upset about being replaced, but, she jokes and laughs to the new one, “you’ll be alright.”
See the heartwarming moment below!
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