School janitor takes it upon himself to help students

Henry Morales is the latest $1,000 recipient on CASH FOR KINDNESS. He's a school janitor at IDEA Ingram Hills who volunteers as school crossing guard. (KABB)

Henry Morales is the lead custodian at IDEA Ingram Hills. He prides himself on keeping the new campus looking great. But dust and grime aren't his only enemies—speeders are too!

“It's all about the kids,” he told Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf. “It's all about the kids."

Morales took it upon himself to serve as school crossing guard after a near miss one morning.

“I almost got hit once by a truck,” he explained. “And that's when I decided to do it. The first time I saw it, that's when I realized no one was out here."

He volunteers each day for nearly an hour beginning at 7 a.m. to help students on school property at the crosswalk. The West Side campus on Majestic Drive opened in August. He vows to be there at least until proper school zone signage is in place to alert drivers.

"It's a school zone,” he said. “I know we don't have the signs yet cause they're working on them, but it's still common sense you have to drive slow for the kids."

Morales’ kindness and compassion haven’t gone unnoticed. One school parent secretly nominated the 55-year-old on CASH FOR KINDNESS. Michael Rangel’s daughter is sixth grader at the school. He met Wolf in the principal’s office to help pull off the surprise.

“Well hello there!” Wolf said as the school janitor entered the room.

Morales thought he needed to see his boss before leaving for the day. It was really part of the CASH FOR KINDNESS surprise.

“I'm Ryan Wolf from Fox San Antonio,” Wolf said. “How are you my friend?”

“Fine,” Morales said with hesitation in his voice.

“Do you have any idea what's going on?” Wolf asked next.

“No,” he responded with a smile. “But, I've seen you before."

Morales nervously started to laugh. That’s when Rangel stepped forward to share what his actions meant to him and his family.

“It's dangerous in the morning,” he told him. “And I've noticed that you've taken your time from the busy work that you do here, and it’s greatly appreciated. Myself and all the parents around here want to thank you on everything that you do."

Morales explained how he’s never been thanked in this way. The father of two, who has 7 grandkids, hopes people will see him as more than just a janitor.

"I care about the kids,” he told everyone in the room. “I try to help them out with whatever I can. Sometimes I say you need to tie your shoe and I'll tie their shoe for them. They're babies. They don't know."

“Henry, we reward people for their selfless acts of kindness," Wolf told him. He handed him a stack of $100 bills for his award on behalf of Fox San Antonio. Morales counted the money in his hand.

“$1,000!” he said. “You've got to be kidding me, man!”

Morales reached out to give hugs to both the school parent who nominated him and Wolf.

“Thank you,” he said with tears in his eyes.

“Thank you for keeping my daughter safe,” Rangel told him. “And all of the other kids safe too."

“I'm out of words,” Morales explained. “I don't know what to say. I don't know what to say. This never happened to me before. And I'm happy. I'm happy I was here."

Morales said he planned to save the money to help give his grandkids extra special gifts for Christmas.

Click here to nominate someone for the $1,000 CASH FOR KINDNESS


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