Man Will Hand $1K Check to Each Paradise High Student

San Diego businessman was moved by their plight
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2018 10:45 AM CST
Man Will Hand $1,000 Check to Each Paradise High School Student
Students from Paradise High School wait to greet players from the New York Giants before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Giants in Santa Clara, Calif., on Nov. 12, 2018.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

A San Diego businessman is donating $1 million in the wake of Northern California's devastating Camp Fire—but he's doing so in an unconventional way. Bob Wilson, 89, plans to pass out $1,000 checks on Tuesday to each of the 980 students and 105 staff members from Paradise High School. Much of the town of Paradise was destroyed in the blaze, the high school was closed, and evacuated students scattered, their lives "upended." Wilson was heartbroken when thinking back on his own "idyllic" high school days and realizing Paradise High students are missing out on making those same memories, he tells NBC Los Angeles.

Wilson plans to travel more than 500 miles to the other end of his state to personally deliver the checks, the Los Angeles Times reports. There will be an assembly somewhere in Chico, though it's not yet clear exactly where they'll gather, the Paradise Post reports. "I thought about, 'OK, do you go to the Red Cross? How do you do this?'" Wilson says, per the Times. "Then I thought, 'No, it’s too slow, too bureaucratic. What I want to do is I want to give every one of those kids $1,000.'" He says he doesn't care what they do with the money, he just wants to "lift their spirits." (In California last week, an example of "what Thanksgiving's about.")

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