It’s no wonder the 68-year-old still has a tough time accepting that thousands of good Samaritans are about to change her life forever.
“I didn’t realize there were so many nice people out there in the world,” Klein, who lives in upstate New York, told Yahoo News this week.
That’s because a stranger’s online campaign to fund a vacation for Klein also went viral. Instead of pledging the requested $5,000, donors have given nearly $700,000 to the drive, which ends at midnight Friday.
A half-million dollars was raised in the first four days, with pledges coming from 84 countries and every state in America.
This story is very touching how so many people donated what has amounted to $700,000 in money to give to Karen Klein, who has recently gone through so much and then to be made to cry after being bullied by four seventh grade students.
Life hasn’t always been kind to Karen Klein.
She was a widow at 51.
She lost her son, Rusty, to suicide 10 years ago.
She had to take out a loan against her paid-off home to make ends meet.
Health problems have limited her hearing and, sometimes, her ability to walk.
The amount raised is more than 40 times Klein’s $15,506 annual salary as a bus monitor. She’s been a bus driver and monitor in Greece, N.Y., for 23 years. Before that she worked as a banquet server and store clerk.
“Yeah, it’s time to retire,” said Klein, who reportedly will not have to pay taxes on the goodwill.
In retirement, she said she hopes to get involved in causes to prevent bullying and suicide. She’d also like to help special-needs children.
“I’m not a great speaker … but I would like to try to do something,” Klein said. “Kids write to me and tell me that they’ve been bullied. The kids that get bullied … I hate it.”
Strangers have written asking for money, but she knows she must pay her bills and take care of her family first. Two grandchildren are disabled and other family members are unemployed. >>>MORE<<<
How or why do the kids know so much about your personal life?
This has had me really, really angry since I first heard about. Is it because a bus aide was getting verbally abused by kids and made to cry. Do I think it was right? No, not really.
What makes me the angriest is that there are so many great School Bus Drivers out there, many that are just as old as Karen the bus monitor out there that get not only verbally abused, but sometimes physically abused and hurt badly; facial bones broke by the little darlings and even some of the parents who are no more mature then their children, and nothing happens to them.
No campaign for money towards their vacation, or over the hardships that are very similar if not worse then what Karen went through. There are countless senior citizens that work too all around the world, that have lost their spouse, or children, pay for a remortgaged home, health costs, etc.
You never see or hear Glen Beck
or other newscasters give or show any support with donations for what the many people that make sure your children get back and forth to school and safely brought home.
If anything the driver is ridiculed with a ‘that would not happen if I was driving.‘
Let me tell you OH YES IT WOULD, want to know why? Because the drivers are pretty much powerless when it comes to their jobs with little to no help from the school district, that says you can’t call the police if you need them, wait for security
Many think or say driving a school bus is below them; those that think that should imagine driving up to 60
kids to school, having to keep your eye’s on the road and control of the bus.
Let’s say in your Car ‘bus’; and I’m not talking about the parents that car pool kids to school, but they would even agree it’s sometime a royal pain in the butt and no easy job; but that is normally under 6 or 7 kids, stressfull none the less.
Most students are good, but you have the few that make it rough for the others. Some are very disrespectful, loud, hitting each other, pulling weapons, won’t sit down, throwing things across the bus, to trying to have sex on the bus or deal drugs and many of those are elementary school kids.
All the while this is just another distraction for the bus driver who many times has an aide on the bus who basically did what this ‘bullied bus monitor’ did. Absolutely, nothing aside from saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all” or some even fall asleep while on the ‘job’ school bus.
I’m sorry Karen has had to deal with so much, and you are a very lucky lady this cause was taken up for you. Many my think i’m cruel or even heartless with what I said, but I’m just being honest and with the words I wrote. shera~