Yesterday, we wrote about the super powers Black folks were going to obtain yesterday, the beginning of the Winter Solstice and the first time since Medieval times (1226) that Jupiter and Saturn were this close to one another in the sky.
But some of us have been wearing capes long before then.
Renee Dixon is one of these heroes.
Dixon, a preschool director, in Indiana, took on a second job as a rideshare driver in order to buy Christmas presents for her students.
According to PEOPLE, Dixon works at the Lynhurst Baptist Church Preschool in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Washington Post reported that Dixon realized that several families in the church preschool would have a rough holiday season.
47-year-old Dixon said, “So many of our families don’t have money to get Christmas presents this year. Some parents have lost their jobs, others have had their wages cut back. A lot of them comes from low-income families and are below the poverty line.”
Dixon decided to do something about it. She got a second job as a ride-share driver so she could earn extra money so she could buy presents for $50 of her students AND their siblings. Not only did Dixon purchase holiday gifts, she also bought winter clothes for the children.
Dixon has been working for Uber and Lyft since November from 6 p.m. until 1 or 2 a.m. on weekdays. She worked an additional 12 hours on Saturday and six hours on Sunday.
She said, “I can’t rest. These kids need me.”
The idea of taking on a second job first came to Dixon in 2016 when she was a classroom teacher. She was saddened to learn so many of her students’ parents couldn’t afford Christmas gifts.
In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Dixon said, “I know how that feels and I never want a child to ever feel that things you dream about never, ever come true or that things you pray about never come true, or that the world isn’t fair because of their living situation.”
Dixon became the director of the preschool in 2018 and that’s when she started driving Uber.
This year her work was even more necessary as the coronavirus pandemic raged on, affecting the entire U.S. economy, including extensive job loss.
The unemployment resulted in a 50% decrease in enrollment.
This year, Dixon had her fair share of loss as well. She lost three family members to COVID-19.
Still, her focus was on the children being able to maintain some magic this holiday season.
“This year, with COVID and everything that has really been taken away from the kids, at no fault of their own, I had to do something,” Dixon told GMA. “The location of where the school is, it’s not in the best neighborhood, but we make the best out of everything.”
Every time Dixon earns $100, she goes to Target and gets toys, games, dolls etc for her students, who range from age 1-12.
So far, Dixon has earned $2,500—enough money to give each of her children two presents, one from the school and one from their parents or Santa.
A spokesperson from Uber has matched Dixon’s earnings to date.
The spokesperson said, “We’re humbled by Renee’s kindness, and we’re delighted to help her efforts go twice as far for her community. With this gift, we’re wishing Renee and her students a safe and joyful holiday season.”
Dixon is also gifting $50 bonuses to the 12 teachers and gifts for the students’ siblings.
Dixon said she hopes her efforts inspire other people to help children during the holiday season.
While she’s earned thousands, she shared that she still has work to do.
Dixon told The Post, “I can’t give up, even after Christmas. They still need coats and hats and boots. Everything I’m doing is for these kids right now. Their world has turned upside down, and it’s no fault of their own. They deserve this from me.”
Later, she told GMA, “And I want people to know that we as early childhood educators, we’re out here with you fighting. We are here, too, and we are trying to make the best of this situation.”