It’s not often that the janitors of major universities are recognized. But Herman Gordon has been leaving a lasting impact on the students of Bristol University in the U.K. for almost 11 years. Students referred to him as “the epitome of happiness,” and they wanted to give back.
Medical student Hadi Al-Zubaidi came up with the idea to launch a crowdfunding campaign to send Gordon on a weeklong trip to Jamaica to see his family for the first time in over a decade. The janitor moved to England when he was 12, and has rarely been able to visit Jamaica.
Al Zubaidi told CNN: “I know everybody loves Herman for his happy energy. I thought sending him to his home country of Jamaica would be a beautiful way of giving back for all that he does.”
Thanks to Facebook sharing, not only were students able to raise over $2,000 for plane tickets in just a few days, the campaign caught the eye of Sandals Resorts. The resort invited Gordon and his wife to spend two nights at their luxury hotel in Montego Bay to celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary.
When Gordon opened a plain envelope filled with hundreds of pounds and a letter, he was overcome with emotion and began crying.
The letter read: “On behalf of the students at Bristol, we would like to thank you for all the positive energy you have given to us throughout the years. You have brightened many of our days and we want you to know that we love and appreciate you.”
On the Bristruths Facebook page, which is where the fundraising started, students shared: “Herman has told us: ‘God bless you all. Everybody will see this and think that I’m a trillionaire’ whilst Denise has said: ‘I just wanted to say thank you to all the University of Bristol students for this gift that they have given to me and Herman.’”