Elementary School Custodian Didn’t Win State Award, So Community Surprises Him With $35k Check – Video

Raymond Brown, a custodian, has never imagined in his life that would be surprised with such a great appreciation gift. He is a custodian at White Oak Elementary School, Edenton, North Carolina. In school, he performs lots of responsibilities and he works with all his heart and mind. Throughout the years, everyone including parents appreciates him and adores him, for how he respects and treats students and teachers.

Every day, he arrives early in the morning at work and never hesitates to help the people who need his support. All his food deeds resulted in him getting nominated to a local recognition contest for exemplary school staff.

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Amos, a 7-year-old child, who has autistic spectrum disorder, so he is completely non-verbal. Her mother, Adrian Wood had already sent her three kids to the same school, White Oak Elementary School, Edenton, North Carolina. But for Amos, she was quite anxious. According to TODAY, Adrian said, “Sending three typical kids to school, you’re sad, but you’re excited for them. Sending Amos to school was such a different path. He was 3 when he started school. He was in diapers and he didn’t speak.”

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At school, Amos has to battle a lot for fitting himself in with other students at school and making friends. She said, however, there was one man who was always delighted to Amos, and he is a custodian, named Raymond Brown. For the past 15 years, Raymond Brown has been working for the school. So, he is famous among all the students and teachers. Amos was called “Famous Amos” by Raymond Brown. One day, Amos’ mother Adrian saw his child answering to him with a sprightful “Hey Brown”, which was a complete surprise to her. She said, “He wasn’t even saying ‘daddy’ at that point, so it was something.”

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Because of Brown other students of the school started to learn how to treat Amos. Adrian said, “Amos is a hard friend to have. He takes a lot more than he gives and that’s tough for children. But those kids saw that he was popular and loved, and they started fi-ghting over who would get to hold Amos’ hand on the way to the classroom. It meant so much to me for him to be so favored by the other children at school, and Mr.

Brown had a big hand in that.”

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Afterward, The North Carolina School Heroes started a competition and fielded a grand prize of $10,000 for honoring the people like Raymond Brown. Unfortunately, Raymond Brown didn’t win the competition, so Adrian was anguished. After that she decided to do something to give him the recognition he deserves and posted on her social media, “I cried when I heard the news. I’m not much of a crier, at least over losing a contest.” She came up with an idea and created a “Famous Amos” prize to compile a prize for Raymond Brown and within a week she received a $35000 donation from her neighbors.

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The school officials and the people of the area assembled to congratulate Brown and give him the prize money. Brown was completely unaware of this and he was being told that it was a photo shoot for his 38th wedding anniversary, so he dressed in a tuxedo. Adrian said, “Mr. Brown is really, truly so deserving of all of this and then some. He’s our rock steady fella here at White Oak Elementary School, he’s just a gem and we are so lucky to have him here. There isn’t a child in this building that doesn’t know who Mr. Brown is and that Mr. Brown cares for them and loves them.”

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The Principle Michelle Newsome gave a huge checkboard to Raymond Brown and thanked him for all his support. Raymond Brown said that he was so surprised that he can’t describe how grateful he was to receive such recognition. Raymond and his wife are looking forward to utilizing the money for visiting their family and also to investing in their house.


Lorrie So awesome of you! In Winston-Salem at Summit School, ours was Leroy Council (from 1946-80). And yes, all of us kids knew and loved him as well. He was always there to greet everyone each morning!

Sarah A life-changing gift for a man who has literally given change and been the change for so many others.

Melissa Barrett I’m so glad he didn’t win the lottery one. This award is so much better and way more thoughtful. So awesome!

Rachel THIS!! We need more of this! What a wonderful man, and a wonderful name for the award! I cannot wait to see what blessings this community you’ve built can come up with!!

Malise Adrian, I LOVE what you have done collectively. Not just monetarily, but the way in which you have shared and shown all of us Mr. Brown. And…….who the true winner is.

Anne This is the best! I am from a town in SC of 5k people and our little school felt the same about Miss Pearlene, Miss Cena Mae and Junior. They loved us as much if not more than our teachers loved us. What a wonderful thing that

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