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Students raise funds for dorm guard to see his family after 11 years

When students at Providence College learned the security guard they call "Unc" hadn't seen his family in 11 years, they started a fundraiser.
Providence College students are shown next to the dorm guard they call "Unc."
Posted at 4:06 PM, Mar 13, 2024

If you find yourself wondering about the next generation, rest assured that the kids are all right. 

That's certainly true at Providence College, a Catholic school in the capital of Rhode Island, and they've made sure their security guard is all right, too. 

In an act of extraordinary generosity, the residents of Raymond Hall on the Providence campus collectively raised enough to send their friend James Mogaji to Nigeria to visit the family he hasn't seen in 11 years.

The students told local ABC affiliate WLNE that they set up a GoFundMe account on Feb. 29 when they learned of the hall's overnight security guard's story.

"We take care of our own, and we firmly believe that James is one of our own," said freshman Brandon Reichert, who started the fundraiser.

It didn't take long for Reichert's classmates and friends to come together, and by last Wednesday, the GoFundMe had attracted enough donors to meet their goal.

That day, the students gathered at Mogaji's desk to present him with the gift of enough money for a round-trip ticket to Nigeria. 

The tearful presentation was posted on TikTok.

@lkquinnco 🛑please stop and take the time to watch and share this amazing display of unrelenting kindness and humanity at its best.🛑 now time for MY BRAGGING- My best friend Jess Reichert son Brandon is the most incredibly kind, thoughtful and generous soul. (Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) I am once again blown away by Brandon’s God Given gift of always doing the right thing and recognizing what is truly important in this world- LOVE and KINDNESS. Brandon started a Gofundme for his overnight security guard James at his dorm building at Providence College. James has been wanting to visit his family in Nigeria for a long time, and Brandon along with all of the amazing students on his floor at PC began to raise money for James to get him home. Today they presented him with the trip. This act of kindness shows us all, that we are more alike than not. Brandon’s ability to always do the right thing and lead, show compassion and gratitude has been a highlight of my life watching him grow up into the amazing young man he is. On that note, I want to give Jess Reichert all the respect in the world for raising this boy as a SINGLE MOTHER and shaping him to be everything he is. For the countless sacrifices she has and continues to make and the obstacles she endures to make sure he has every opportunity to continue on his path we all could learn from as parents. This is also your payoff Jessie, everything that boy is, is ALL because of you! I al so proud to be your friend! I love you both so much!!! Let’s keep this going with a share! @wcvb5 @wpri12 @therhodeshow @abc6providence @channelkindness @thekindnessrocksproject #belikeBrandon #providenceCollege #gofundme #goviral #pcfriars #kindnessmatters ♬ original sound - Leah Quinn

In the video, a resident assistant named Danny addresses Mogaji by the affectionate nickname the other students have given him.

"You're Unc. You're the GOAT," he says before giving Mogaji an envelope. "You're part of the family, so our gift to you is a trip to Nigeria."

Overcome with emotion, Mogaji falls to his knees.

"I don't know how much I can thank you guys, man. I don't know how much I can thank you," he says.

Mogaji reportedly plans to take his trip in June. 

And now, the ensuing media coverage has helped the students achieve their secondary goal, which is to make sure "Unc" doesn't have to wait another 11 years to see his kin. As of March 13, their GoFundMe has blown past its original goal of $3,500 and has now raised more than $27,000. They plan to give this to Mogaji in May to fund a future trip to Nigeria.

This story was originally published by Tod Caviness at Simplemost.