For the many students who get their meals at school, the lunch lady is a daily presence in their lives. They may not know her as well as their teachers, but she serves their food every day, maybe for years—and a friendly, personable lunch employee is unforgettable.
Case in point is Debra Davis, the longtime food worker at Hoover High School in City Heights, San Diego, who has been with the school district for 26 years.
She became every student’s favorite lunch lady—someone who does more than fill their trays.
“I feed the kids, I prepare the food, I talk to them, I stop them from fighting,” Davis told KFMB. “They don’t cuss. They have to respect, and they call me ‘Aunt Debbie.'”
“Debbie comes to campus every single day with a smile on her face, ready to take on the day and serve our students,” Principal Jason Babineau said.
Amazingly, her kindness extends beyond the school.
When not serving students, she hands out meals to the homeless and volunteers at a nursing home.
“I use my car to serve the people,” Davis told KGTV.
However, that car was a bit of a mess:
Everyone noticed that Davis drove around an old junker that frequently broke down, although Davis apparently has enough of a soft spot for the old ride to give it a name.
“I call her, ‘Transformer.’ She is my 1976 Chevy Malibu,” she said.
But others knew that she needed a more reliable car than ol’ Transformer. So, in light of her exceptional service to her school and to her community, a life-changing surprise was arranged.
On June 4, the school revealed a gift that left Davis stunned:
They got her a new car!
The gift was a united effort between the community and Davis’ students. San Diego Unified partnered up with State Farm Insurance for the Recycled Rides program, who donated a 2014 Mazda 3.
Then, the auto body shop at a local high school stepped up to fix up the car like new.
It was such an upgrade that Davis was overwhelmed.
“I’m not used to a new car, ya’ll,” she joked, according to KFMB. “What do I do?”
Being a lunch lady can be a thankless job, but due to the kindness of the people around her, Davis was rewarded for all her exceptional service.
“No one has ever done anything like this for me. I thought I was going to get my heaven in heaven. But I got a little piece of heaven right here,” she said, according to KGTV.
The only problem: how to break the news to her old car.
“I don’t know what I’m going to call you, but ‘Transformer’ is going to be upset with you,” she joked.