Everyone Brought Backpacks to This Teacher's Funeral

Tammy Waddell's last request was that funeral attendees bring school supplies for the needy
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2018 5:31 PM CDT
Teacher's Last Wish: School Supplies for Needy Students
A backpack   (Getty)

A Georgia teacher who spent her career helping students continued to do so even in death. Tammy Waddell's final request as she suffered a long illness culminating in her June 9 death was for attendees at her funeral to bring backpacks stuffed with school supplies to help needy children. Per AJC, that's exactly what happened, making the June 12 event a bittersweet one as friends and loved ones marked the 58-year-old's passing. Photos from the funeral show dozens of mourners lined up outside a church, backpacks in hand. Another shot shows the inside of the church, where the bundles lined the pews.

Waddell's cousin, Dr. Brad Johnson, told CNN that people pictured carrying the backpacks were teachers who acted as honorary pallbearers by carrying the backpacks out of the church and back to their schools. The backpacks will reportedly be distributed through a school district initiative called Project Connect that will direct them to those most in need. What's more, Johnson said the publicity has helped give his cousin's legacy even greater reach. Johnson said he's been contacted by a non-profit called Tes Resources that intends to donate thousands of school supplies in Waddell's name. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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