Sunday, April 4, 2021

"I love you, Mr. Brown"

When Amos Wood started school at White Oak Elementary School in Edenton, North Carolina, he wasn't yet speaking. He has autism, and it was hard for him to make friends with other kids. Sometimes they just ignored him, but school custodian Raymond Brown loved every student like his own grandchild, and that included Amos. When Amos was seven, he formed a bond with Mr. Brown. The custodian nicknamed him Famout Amos. Other students noticed the attention he gave Amos, since Mr. Brown is the most popular grown-up in the school. Now if you walk down the hall, you'll hear children saying, "Hi Famous Amos!" After Mr. Brown began calling him Famous Amos, Amos started saying, "Hey Brown." His mother remembers "he wasn't even saying Daddy at that point, so it was really something."
Amos' mother, Adrian Wood, was so grateful to the custodian for bonding with Amos that she nominated him for a North Carolina School Hero Award, but he was passed over. So she used her Facebook blog to earn Brown the kudos he deserved. Within a week, she'd raised $35,000 from nearly 2,000 people. March 20 was Mr. Brown and his wife's 38th wedding anniversary, and thanks to Amos' mother, it was quite a party. The custodian's grown children and hundreds of well-wishers including Edenton's Mayor, the police chief and even Miss North Carolina, sang the beloved custodian's praises. Then they gave him a $35,000 honorarium, dubbed "The Famous Amos Award." So it was fitting that the sweetest accolade for this small-town hero came from Amos himself, who simply said, "I love you, Mr. Brown."

No comments:

Post a Comment