SCOTT CITY, MO (KFVS) - Teachers and students say teacher's aide, Kim Eifert, brings a lot of sunshine to Scott City schools.
"He's just a kind, dear person," said Kindergarten teacher, Jill Pinkston.
"Ever since I started school, Mr. Eifert has been my buddy," said second grader, Dalton Smith.
Mr. Eifert has been at the school for 12 years. "He became a substitute teacher when we needed it, a teacher's assistant when we needed it, he's on hand for everything," Pinkston said.
She says he goes above and beyond the call of duty, buying uniforms, coats and food for students in need. "He's a friend to everybody in this school."
Two years ago their friend learned he had colon cancer. Last year, he learned it had moved to his lungs. Mrs. Pinkston says even that didn't take his sunshine.
"Mr. Eifert never missed a day of work," she said. "Mr. Eifert actually goes to a job after this job, he continues to do two jobs, takes chemo and comes with a smile on his face every day."
But with medical bills piling up for the man who gave so much to the school, they wanted to give back to him.
They came up with a cookbook. The art club designed the cover and students submitted recipes. Their goal was to sell 500, but they've already shattered that goal raising more than $7,000 for Mr. Eifert.
One student in particular is an example of how much the school loves Mr. Eifert. Dalton Smith, sold more than 100 cookbooks.
"I'm so impressed with him, he just worked, worked, worked," said Kim Eifert. "All the kids did. They brought recipes and sold the books," he added.
Mr. Eifert says his school family has always helped him through the tough times. "Every time I've had a little setback, I get hundreds of cards," he said.
And this has given him more strength then he can imagine.
"My school family just takes care of me," Eifert said. "I just can't imagine not having them and I've got 300 children, and that makes you fight forever."
The cookbooks are $10 each. All proceeds go to help pay for Kim Eifert's medical bills. To purchase the cookbook, call the Scott City school at 573-264-2131.