This Preschool Director Took A Second Job As An Uber Driver To Give Her Students Christmas Present
25th December 2020 by BOTWC Staff
25th December 2020 by BOTWC Staff
Educators are superheroes!
Renee Dixon, the preschool director of Lynhurst Baptist Church Preschool, is doing Santa's work for him this year. After work, instead of going home, she hopes in her Kia Sorento to begin her second job as a Uber and Lyft driver to earn money to buy her 50 students and their sibling's gifts this Christmas.
"So many of our families don't have money to get Christmas presents this year. Some parents have lost their jobs, others have had their wages cut back," Dixon told The Washington Post. "A lot of them already come from low-income families and are below the poverty line."
Since November, the 47-year-old has been driving around Indianapolis until around 2 in the morning, totally around 20 hours on the weekend. She said she couldn't rest because the kids need her.
The preschool, located in a church basement, also serves as a food bank for families, and the need has only grown during the pandemic.
Dixon has been a teacher for two decades and a preschool director for two. She told reporters she knows what it's like to go without due to finances and didn't want the children to suffer.
"My mom was a single mom, and we didn't have much," Dixon said. "Certain things I wanted her to get me, she couldn't. It hurt then, but now, as an adult, I understand."
This isn't the first time the director has worked a second job to provide gifts for her students, but she said this year is needed more than ever. When she earns $100, she goes to Target to purchase gifts then stacks them in her office. She's gotten dolls, board games, puzzles, lego sets and more. The students range in age from 1 to 12, with the preschool offering tutoring and after school programs outside of regular school hours.
She's been able to earn more than $2,500, which is enough to buy gifts for each student and their siblings, but Dixon said she's not done driving for the kids because they still need more.
"I can't give up, even after Christmas. They still need coats and hats and boots," Dixon told The Post.
One of the parents, April Eberly, told reporters she was overwhelmed with gratitude from Dixon's gratitude.
"It's really taking a load off," said Eberly, whose children are 2, 8 and 9. "The bills add up, and we would love the help this year. I am very appreciative that she is taking her time to work a second job."
Dixon has also inspired other people to help with community members donating items and money; even Uber offered to match the money she earned.
"We're humbled by Renee's kindness, and we're delighted to help her efforts go twice as far for her community," Uber spokeswoman Lexi Levin Mitchel told Good Morning America in a statement. "With this gift, we're wishing Renee and her students a safe and joyful holiday season."
Although she doesn't want people making a fuss about her giving, Dixon told reporters she hopes people recognize how hard educators work to make sure their students are cared for.
"I don't like a big deal made about this because this is something everyone should be doing," she said. "Taking care of kids and making sure people's needs are met and kids' needs are met, that's something everybody should be doing, and all-year-round, not just at Christmas."
"And I want people to know that we as early childhood educators, we're out here with you fighting," Dixon added. "We are here, too, and we are trying to make the best of this situation."
You're a blessing, Renee! Happy Holidays!
Photo Credit: Renee Dixon