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Some people go out of their way to make every interaction as warm as possible. Be it their manners, professionalism, or just their general kindness. You may be lucky enough to know a person like this, perhaps you even have the pleasure of interacting with them every day.

Going away to college can be a scary thing. But the freshmen at Providence College in Rhode Island found being away from home a bit easier thanks to security guard James Mogaji. Mogaji works the overnight shift in Raymond Hall. The residents described him as “one of the nicest people you will ever meet.” He greets everyone with a smile. The students call him “Uncle” or “Unc.” He even told them tales of his family back in Nigeria.

Ornate Harkins Hall dorm in Providence College, Rhode Island
Providence College | John Phelan via WikiMedia Commons

When Mogaji mentioned to Brandon Reichert that he hadn’t seen his family–including his son–in a decade, the student was determined to help. He calculated that a trip home, when school lets out in June, would cost Mogaji $3,000. He asked around and decided to set up a GoFundMe page. Three-thousand seemed like a lofty goal. But he reasoned that over an entire semester he might be able to raise just enough for an airplane ticket. Within days, both Reichert and Mogaji would find out just how generous people can be.

“James is without a doubt the best security guard here at Providence College. He works four overnight shifts a week and the Raymond Hall 4th Floor would love to raise money for him to see his family in Nigeria that he hasn’t seen in a long time. For those of you that don’t know James, he truly is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He greets everybody with a smile and always welcomes conversations no matter what time of the night you run into him. He has expressed how much he enjoys his job here at PC, and we would love to be able to allow him to visit his family. He does not know how much we appreciate him, and hope that this shows to him how much he means to our community. We hope that others will join in raising funds for James, as Raymond Hall and Providence College would be a completely different building without him. He has not seen his family in many years, and we believe that he is more than deserving to see his loved ones. Any amount of donation is appreciated, and 100% of the proceeds will be put towards travel expenses for James so he does not have to pay out of pocket.”

Brandon Reichert, GoFundMe

Above the heartfelt fundraiser description, Reichert posted a picture of the familiar security guard’s face. The fundraiser must have struck a chord with the other students, homesick for their own families after just a few months.

First, Jack Pawlowski gave $50 and wrote “James is always such a warm presence coming into Ray at night and I wish him nothing but the best and he deserves to see his family.”

Next, Derek Assarian gave $30 and wrote, “My memories with James stick with me. We’ve talked several times across campus and you could tell his sincerity in the way he does his job.”

$10, $20, $25, $100, $25, $20…Soon the donations were flowing in.

One by one, hundreds of students donated what they could. In total, 888 people pitched in for Mogaji’s trip home. They raised $30,360. Reichert says that 100% of the cash will go to Mogaji, who can hopefully take multiple trips home now.

So how did James Mogaji react to the gift from the students? Speechless would be an understatement.

Next, read about the sorority sisters who dove into a river to save a mother and her drowning children, or you can see the heartwarming moment Raymond Hall presents Mogaji with his plane ticket in the video below: