Alabama community buys longtime school custodian a car

Community banding together to buy janitor new car

ALEX CITY, Ala. (WSFA) - The surprise set-up was perfect, and it paid off. Kinnie Morris walked in the lobby at Jim Pearson Elementary School Thursday morning bewildered and clueless on what the commotion was all about. Then, Ellen Price revealed the real surprise.

'"We all got you together to get you a new car," Price, a first grade teacher at the school, revealed. Morris was even more stunned.

School custodian Kinnie Morris learns he's getting a new car thanks to the generosity of his community.
School custodian Kinnie Morris learns he's getting a new car thanks to the generosity of his community. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

A new, used car is on the way to replace the old clunker Morris drives now. The reason behind it all is the school found out Morris was having trouble making appointments to see his doctor, and sometimes getting to work. He often had to borrow a friend’s car to make it to both places.

“This school would truly not run as efficiently or be as much fun without Kinnie," said Price who also spearheaded the GoFundMe fundraiser.

”I was completely shocked because I thought it was for somebody else," Morris explained.

For 24 years the school custodian has been sweeping his way into the hearts of countless children who’ve come and gone. “They don’t forget me and I don’t forget them. Now, some of them I give them nicknames," he said.

The community and students at Jim Pearson Elementary School showed their appreciation for Morris Thursday as he learned he'll get a new vehicle.
The community and students at Jim Pearson Elementary School showed their appreciation for Morris Thursday as he learned he'll get a new vehicle. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“He’s very funny, sweet and crazy," said student Madison Hamlet.

Kinnie Morris even had a nickname for his own vehicle, an old Buick Park Avenue. “White Lightning.” Well, it used to be. After all, it has close to 295,000 miles on it now.

Morris' old car, "White Lightning" has nearly 295,000 miles on it. Time for a new ride.
Morris' old car, "White Lightning" has nearly 295,000 miles on it. Time for a new ride. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“Are you surprised it’s lasted this long?" he was asked “Yes, sir," Morris said.

Time to trade in the old and roll in the new set of wheels before long. But there’s no trading in an original in Kinnie Morris.

“Thank you all so much," he told the crowd of around 50.

Morris is one of a kind, beloved and cherished at Jim Pearson Elementary.

Ellen Price says the GoFundMe account has raised around $6,000 so far. The goal is $7,500.

As of yet, the exact make and model of the car he’ll soon roll into work in is unknown. But Price says a local dealer is getting involved to help make Morris’ need a reality before school starts on Aug 7.

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