Viewer helps woman from news story purchase headstone for son - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Viewer helps woman from news story purchase headstone for son

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COLUMBUS, GA -

Some may remember a story about a former custodian who lost her job with the Muscogee County School District few weeks ago.

Terry Robinson had been looking for another job so she could pay for food, bills and save money for her son's headstone. Her son had passed away from cancer back in 2005. Robinson paid for her son's burial, but she could not afford to buy a headstone for her son at the same time.

"Every time I come here, I would look and say, 'God, I wish I can get him a headstone,'" Robinson recalled.

One WTVM viewer was watching the story on Channel 9 the same day it aired, and he decided to purchase the headstone for her son's grave.

"I felt like it was the right thing to do," said Brian Gallops. "My wife and I talked about it, and we decided to help. I feel like I was blessed to have a job, and I had enough to do this. Giving back just felt right. With all the things going on in the world today, I felt like this was something that we can help out with."

Robinson thanked Gallops multiple times, and she said a huge burden has been taken off of her chest now that her son can finally rest in peace with a headstone. 

"I thank God for blessing me and my son with this headstone," Robinson said. "I thank God from the bottom of my heart. Not just from my lips, but from the bottom of my heart. When you lose a child, something dies inside of you that you cannot explain to people. You cannot. Only those who have lost their children could understand my pain."

While no teacher layoffs or furlough days are needed for the schools in the Muscogee County School District, about 80 custodian workers were laid off in the process. The board voted to outsource custodial services in order to help the overall operations of the school district and school savings.

Outsourcing meant that the custodians who were cut in the county could be re-hired by contractors. The district could save about 4.8 million dollars.

However, if the custodians or any workers qualify for any other positions in Muscogee County schools, such as nutrition and transportation, they are encouraged to apply for these jobs as well. In addition, if more custodial jobs open up in elementary schools, the custodians are allowed to apply for those positions.

"Although I lost my job, it's still a blessing to see my son's grave finally have a headstone," Robinson said. "It's joy. It's happiness. It's a big relief that he has one now."

READ ALSO: Former MCSD employee discusses custodian outsourcing

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