As proof that a little bit of generosity goes a long way, students at a private school in Luxembourg City have raised enough money so that a classmate whose father drives a Peugeot can get something better.
Thomas Dortland, 15, began attending the Global Academy last year when his family relocated to Luxembourg. Since then, he’s failed to integrate and often acts awkwardly in front of his classmates.
“I always wondered why Tommy runs off so quickly after school,” said classmate Carlotta Benici, who is picked up in either a Porsche Cayenne, a Land Rover, or a dumpy old 2019 Mini Cooper that her mother only bought for when she goes shopping in Trier so that she’s not targeted by thieves. “Then one day I saw him and his father on Route de Longwy, and that’s when I learned the sad truth.”
“His dad drives a Peugeot.”
Benici leapt into action and, with several other students who felt terrible for their impoverished classmate, launched a fundraiser. Within a week, they had collected 59,000 euros – short of their goal of 100,000 euros, but enough to help.
“My car’s not that bad,” Dortland’s father Tobias said during an impromptu ceremony in the school parking lot on Friday. “It’s not even four years old. In my country, this is a very respectable upper-middle-class vehicle.”
“But thanks, I guess,” he added.
School director Katherine Hicks-Swirly says that she’s not surprised by the goodness of the students.
“It reminds me of when we had dozens of kids rush to sign up for a school trip to Bangladesh to teach poor children about fashion,” she said.
Experts say that while 55,000 euros isn’t enough to buy a car that’s truly suitable for a private school, Dortland’s father should be able to get a respectable BWW or Volvo so that at least his son won’t have to hide his face in shame anymore.