Bill McAllister, a teacher at Big Shanty Intermediate School in Kennesaw, hasn’t seen his students face-to-face since March 16. He recently decided to run by every student’s home just to say hi (from a safe distance outside) and see how they are doing.
“I knew my kids were at home and they were missing school and everybody else and I thought well why don’t I just run through their neighborhoods and see them, give them a smile, pick up their day a little bit,” he told WAGA.
The project required some extra planning.
“I had to figure out where everybody lived and figure out the most advantageous route to get from one place to another,” he said.
McAllister had quadruple bypass surgery a few years ago, so he wanted to keep his miles to a manageable distance. His routes take him anywhere from 6 to 8 miles a day.
“I’ve been thinking about all of you and worrying about all of you. And getting to see you makes me a little bit calmer and a whole lot more happy,” McAllister told one of his students during a run.
If no one is home, McAllister tapes a special note to the mailbox.
“Letting them know that their teachers are still out there, we still care about what they’re doing and we hope they’re doing their best,” he said.
McAllister says some students are missing meals during the pandemic so he’s making a per-mile donation to MUST Ministries, a local volunteer group that helps feed hungry children, and encourages people inspired by his story to do the same.