Principal works night shift at Walmart to help students in need

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina principal guides students and staff during the day and stocks shelves at Walmart at night to help those in need.

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Henry Darby, principal at North Charleston High School, has met both current and former students who have struggled — finding themselves sleeping beneath bridges or in cars, or in need of help paying utility bills, WCIV reported.

“I get a little emotional, because when you’ve got children you’ve heard, sleeping under a bridge, or a former student and her child, they’re sleeping in a car, or when you go to a parent’s house because there’s problems and you knock on the door, there are no curtains and you see a mattress on the floor,” he told “Today.” “And these people need — and I wasn’t gonna say no. And at my age, you know, we don’t ask for money. We just don’t. You just go ahead and do what you need to do.”

So, Darby started stocking shelves three nights a week at Walmart.

“I was taught if your hands find something to do, do it,” he told WCBD.

He works at the store from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., and then heads to work his regular day at school. He did not tell his manager that he also worked as a principal. Darby also serves as a county councilman.

“Even before we knew, there was something special about him,” Cynthia Solomon, store manager, told “Today.” “I would be so happy to have Mr. Darby for as long as he will have us as a part of his family and beyond.”

Students also took notice of him working there.

“There are some kids that felt Walmart is beneath them,” he told WCBD. “But now that they have seen the principal working at Walmart, I now have some kids who work at Walmart with me. They feel it’s no longer beneath them.”

A crowd-source funding account set up for him has received more than $115,000 in donations. On Friday, Walmart donated $50,000.

Darby told WCBD that a man also donated $1,000 for each month for a year and is also awarding ten students $5,000 scholarships.

“The attention, I’m not used to it,” he told TODAY. “I don’t think that I’ve done anything worthy of distinction to warrant the attention.”