A group of alumni from The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas have raised over $185,000 for their retiring security guard. The man, Kifleab “Kief” Tekle has been a part of the school for more than 30 years. During that time, Kief went above and beyond to help and protect the young girls at Hockaday.
Eugene McDermott Headmistress Liza Lee noted, “For 30 years, Kief was the emperor of the parking lot and carpool, and for all those years, Kief has been the heart and soul of Hockaday.” Lee added, “He has given us lessons in grace, lessons in courtesy and lessons in love.”
But after three decades of work at his “second home,” Kief decided it was time to retire. In response, some alumnae from the 2000 class at Hockaday decided to start a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his retirement.
They never expected it to get so big. The project’s leaders set a goal of $2,005 for Kief’s retirement, but as word got out more alumnae and their friends began contributing. In 11 days, the fund has amassed more than $185,000 from over 1,800 people.
One donor, Amy Patrick, said of the security guard, “When someone as pivotal in the community as Kief announces his retirement, it’s breathtaking, but not entirely surprising the entire community has rallied like this.”
Some of the funds were presented to Tekle in a private retirement ceremony on Monday. He stated of the GoFundMe donations, “I was not expecting such a big farewell. It means stability for my family.”
Kief was understandably stunned by the generosity of the girls he promised to protect. However, their response to his retirement shows the impact one person can have when they go beyond their assigned duty to show that they care.
Congratulations on your retirement, Kief!