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Hardened math teacher "secretly" snuggles babies

Hardened Math Teacher 'Secretly' Snuggles Babies
One teacher at St. Francis High School near Los Angeles says he doesn't believe school can be fun. Jim O'Connor's students expect the daily drudge of his math classes, but "CBS Evening News" reports not a single one of them knew of his unexpected passion.

"It's almost like finding this alter ego that he has," a baffled student said.

Turns out that O'Connor has volunteered at Children's Hospital Los Angeles for the past 20 years.

That's right: the toughest teacher around spends his off-time comforting babies and cuddling sick children.

The Los Angeles Times reports the 70-year-old also gives blood and has done so since 1989.

"O'Connor has donated more than 72 gallons of blood and platelets. That enormous gift - worth well over half a million dollars had it been purchased - has been especially valuable because he is a universal donor," the Times reports. He's actually the hospital's top donor.

O'Connor has never been married and has no children of his own. Why does he volunteer? He says the answer is simple,'I don't wanna see them alone. You can't do that.'

So although O'Connor might look like a tough guy ... he's actually a softie. He asked the CBS reporter to keep that secret from his students. We have a feeling that the secret's out now.

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BARRY AND KATHY February 27 2014 at 5:30 PM

I'm betting you figured this out already but just in case, you need to work on your English comprehension.
52 divided by 16.25 = 3.25 gallons.
You're using the wrong numbers for your computation.

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abimsr February 27 2014 at 10:56 PM

Thank you Barry and Kathy. I am not going to go into a math issue, but to add that Jim has been going in for a very long time and can hit 72 gallons. Those records are kept by Childrens Hospital LA and I know them to be correct as they keep track of my donations, too. And, this does not include the countless hours he has spend helping out families with sick children. Please, make an appointment at CHLA and you can learn first hand how to compute the number of donations needed to make one gallon.

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gmgpjandon February 27 2014 at 4:08 PM

I taught school in the AF for four years, teaching Tel. pole climbing and one hundred ft. tower erection. Never had a wash out nor a student injured. However, I was a SOB all thru the course. Given the right to suspend civil rights, I can teach the worse individuals a trade. Not now tho, that was before the fall of the US. Sad.

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lavonnesewell February 27 2014 at 3:57 PM

Oh my! This meant a lot to me......'cause I was born in this Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Los Angeles has been blessed to have Mr. O'Connor.

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abimsr February 27 2014 at 4:18 PM

My daughter needed 4 surgeries and I am forever in debt to the hosiptal for the service and the treatment the gave us. That is why when I first met Jim any years ago and saw he was the number one guy for platelet donations it inspired me to donate as much as I could. Happily, I hit 50 gallons this January. If you can, please make an appointment to donate some blood or platelets to help out the families of other patients. You can tell them your story and as with all donors, you will be treated like royalty. And, it's a nice place to visit, too.

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lbreamer February 27 2014 at 3:54 PM

We need so many more people like Mr. O'Connor - Well done, sir. And thank you!

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kimcrdr February 27 2014 at 3:32 PM

most "hardened" teachers are just BIG softies, they cant be soft with students especially if they care about them at all, (i'm sure most teachers want their students to excell in all subjects) now as far as this Mr. O'Conner, Kudos to you sir, I admire everything you do, I think one of the most beautiful acts a person can do is donate blood, platelets, organs all to save a life, You sir deserve 2 thumbs up and I hope there are alot of people who learn from you sir! very beautiful thing you do!

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John Myers February 27 2014 at 2:55 PM

It's rather shocking to find out that the gruff old fa t down the street spends twenty hours a week volunteering at the hospital or a food kitchen or wherever he can to help out his fellow man.
About thirty years ago I had a neighbor that was like that. I used to give her a ride every day to where she would assemble wheelchairs. I made a mistake one time and told her I wish I could do something like that. She looked at me and smiled and said that I already was. Duh!

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dollyo123 February 27 2014 at 2:24 PM


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pgile February 27 2014 at 1:22 PM

72 gallons since 1989: that's 576 individual donations in 25 years. Not possible. If you donated every 8 weeks (the minimum interval), it would take you 88+ years to give 72 gallons. Otherwise, good story.

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abimsr February 27 2014 at 1:56 PM

pgile, you might not know this, but Jim is my friend at Childrens Hospital LA and I am a 50 gallon donner who started 22 years ago, too. How is this possible? You can donate platelets ever 14 days (which I do, I go twice a month) and since you can make a double donation of platelets per donation you get credited for 2 pints. So, if I donate 26 times a year x 2 donations per time that is 52 donations divided by 16 pints per gallon equal 3.25 gallons.
If I did this for the entire 22 years, then I would be at 71.5 gallons. That's how it is possible.
Now, if you want to see if you can top me and Jim, I invite you to go to Children's Hospital LA and make a platelet donation. You only need to have a needle in your arm for 1.50 hours and know that your donation is going directly to a child with cancer to help keep them alive till they can be cured. It is most nobel thing you can do with your life!

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dstauff1093 February 27 2014 at 2:39 PM

You've given too much blood and your brain died. There are only 8 pints per gallon.

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lbreamer February 27 2014 at 3:56 PM

Thank you so very much for you amazing gift!! As my grandmother used to say, "that's a star in your crown in Heaven!"

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bbella2145 February 27 2014 at 1:19 PM

What a beautiful story. You really can't judge a book by their cover.

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mistykay13 February 27 2014 at 1:13 PM

What? You mean a teacher who actually doesn't treat little Johnny & Suzie like they are not the center of the universe, nor that they deserve "fun" simply because they exist & therefore need to be catered to??? A teacher who actually expects students to do their JOB & "work" at being educated?? KUDOS to this fantastic educator! Keep up the good work.

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