"I decided to get another job because the kids, they really need help."

By Meghan Overdeep
February 04, 2021
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From 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. three nights a week, you can find North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby stocking the shelves at the nearby Walmart Supercenter.

The South Carolina principal started working there in August to help low-income students and their families.

Many students at his school live in poverty, Darby told The Post & Courier. "I decided to get another job because the kids, they really need help," he explained.

According to the S.C. Department of Education, nearly 90 percent of North Charleston High students lived in poverty last year.

So far Darby has donated more than $2,500—about half of his Walmart earnings—to families in need. He plans to donate the rest after taxes are due.

Darby, who is also a longtime county councilman, was born and raised in the Liberty Hill community and has witnessed the suffering caused by poverty first-hand. Ever since he was a teenager, Darby has worked three or four jobs.

While he reports feeling honored to be able to give back to his community, his real motivation is showing by example what the face of hard work looks like.

Principal Henry Darby
Credit: Courtesy of Charleston County School District

"I knew of some students who thought working at Walmart was beneath them," Darby said in a statement to the Charleston County School District. "Now that the students have learned about me working there, several have applied and are employed alongside me."

As word of Darby's selflessness began spreading last week, the community rallied behind him. A GoFundMe page started by real estate agents Jesse Rone and Mason Wright has raised more than $150,000 towards Darby's efforts. And last week, the normally shy principal was surprised with a $50,000 donation from Walmart live on the Today show.

The attention has only made Darby more motivated. Now he's able to help more families than he ever dreamed of.

"All men and women are brothers and sisters," Darby in a statement. "If we can't help one another, then who can we help? I will keep on working at Walmart. My efforts are genuine and not for show. In spite of all the dollars we have accumulated, I plan to stay on."