This Man Answered An Unexpected Email And Became ‘Grandpa’ To Children Living Miles Away

Thad Livingston and his wife. Photo source: Tennessean.

The last time that you received an email that was clearly sent in error and not meant for you, what did you do? You probably just deleted it without a second thought, as most of us would.

Thad Livingston, however, decided to respond to the email that he found in his inbox and it changed both his life and the lives of many children.

The email in question was sent from Mt. Juliet Elementary School in Tennessee, which is located some 800 miles away from Livingston who is a New Jersey resident. He decided to reply anyways, though, when he read the email from 5th grade teacher Emily Lupton, worried that his email address had replaced that of a parent who should have received it.

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After responding, he learned that the email was a request to the parents of Lupton’s students, asking for donations in the form of used computer mice for the school.

Livingston says “My wife’s a teacher so I know how teachers scrounge things together… So I just said, ‘let’s have some fun.’” His idea of fun was to ship 30 brand new computer mice as a way of helping the school out.

The generosity that Livingston showed to the schoolchildren had a great effect on them, and they decided to show their appreciation by sending him a gift as well. These Mt. Juliet students hand-wrote thank you notes and sent some hometown treats like Goo Goo Clusters and Moon Pies along with them to show how grateful they were.

A Mount Juliet student hand-writes her thank you note. Photo source: Tennessean.

A Mt. Juliet student hand-writes her thank you note. Photo source: Tennessean.

The story doesn’t end there. Livingston continued to show support for Mt. Juliet Elementary School and the students of Emily Lupton and has since sent more donations, including New Jersey goodies and $210 to go towards the school’s fundraiser for technology.

The exchange of generosity continued, and inspired Lupton to start a challenge for the students to engage in Random Acts of Kindness. Livingston’s actions inspired Lupton’s 5th grade students to extend their own kindness to others in the form of free yard work, donated candy, and more.

Ms. Lupton estimates that over 100 Random Acts of Kindness were performed as an echo of what Livingston did for her students.

The Random Acts of Kindness board put up at the school. Photo source: Tennessean.

The Random Acts of Kindness board put up at the school. Photo source: Tennessean.

Despite the distance and the fact that Livingston has never actually met the children, he has developed a bond with them.“We call him our New Jersey grandfather,” said Samantha Hartsook, one of Mount Juliet’s students, “He’s amazing.”

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About the author

Janessa is a gamer, a bookworm, an animal lover and a self-proclaimed foodie. She is passionate about everything that she does and hopes that it will come across in her writing.