Opened gift box with red bow and lights

While the holidays are over, it never hurts to share a heartwarming story of a surprise Christmas present for a beloved high school custodian. Since joining the Indiana-based Carmel High School in 2009, custodian William Crowder has become known not only for his commendable work ethic, but his enjoyment for interacting with students and staff and building friendships. 

When he’s not working his shifts, he still likes to ingratiate himself in the school community, notably as a regular attendee for Friday football games, reports WTHR13. In the process, he struck up a friendship with Carmel quarterback Zach Osborne. After catching the games, he would stop by Zach each Monday morning to talk with him about the game.

Osborne, who appreciated the gesture and the interactions they’ve shared, came across an idea when one of their conversations brought up shoe sizes. As fellow aficionados of shoe culture and Christmas around the corner, Osborne decided to shop around for a pair that would be perfect for the custodian he has dubbed “Mr. Will.” 

After stumbling across the seemingly perfect pair of Nikes in the school’s signature Carmel blue, he surprised the custodian ahead of the holidays in a heartwarming exchange, available here

Osborne says it brought him great joy to show Crowder how much he appreciated his contributions to the school, along with their own friendship. Crowder was visibly surprised and excited to see the gift, sharing his own appreciation and reaffirming the power of spreading positivity to others. 

These kinds of stories are among our favorite to report. Read about this charitable act for two Arizona school custodians in honor of their hard work earlier in the pandemic.