10:37 AM EDT 07/10/2016


Karen Klein

Credit: Clockwise from Top: Steven Senne/AP; Courtesy Jennifer Foster
Relive PEOPLE's Top Five Inspirational Stories of 2012 | Karen Klein

Bullied Bus Monitor Karen Klein, News Anchor Jennifer Livingston & More of 2012's Inspiring People

Originally posted 12/27/2012 10:00AM

Every week PEOPLE spotlights the Heroes Among Us, those who are making a difference in their community and in the lives of others.

From high school students taking a stand against bullying to the generosity of a police officer, these five inspiring stories warmed our hearts in 2012.

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How Bullied Bus Monitor Will Spend Her Nearly $650,000

Karen Klein, Bullied Bus Monitor, to Donate and Invest Her Nearly $650,000

Originally posted 06/25/2012 09:20AM

It was just a week ago that Karen Klein was sitting on a bus enduring the teasing and taunts of a group of kids with a grace that wouldn't be recognized until days later, when a video of the incident went viral.

Now, thanks to an online fundraising effort, the upstate New York bus monitor, 68, has more than $645,275 (and counting) to her name from people – total strangers, mostly – who saw the video, heard the hurtful words and wanted to help.

"I keep thinking, 'What have I done?' " the Greece Central School District employee said during an in-studio interview on Monday's Today show. "It's like I almost don't feel like I deserve it."

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Karen Klein, Bullied Bus Monitor, Gets Apologies from Kids

UpdatePosted 06/22/2012 11:00AM

Karen Klein, Bullied Bus Monitor, Gets Apologies from Kids

Originally posted 06/22/2012 08:30AM

At least three of the students who were seen taunting school bus monitor Karen Klein on a viral video have issued statements of apology to the 68-year-old grandmother.

"I am so sorry for the way I treated you," one of the students, identified only as "Josh," said in a statement issued by police Thursday to Anderson Cooper 360. "When I saw the video I was disgusted and could not believe I did that. I am sorry for being so mean and I will never treat anyone this way again."

Another student, identified as "Wesley," also issued an apology, writing: "I feel really bad about what I did. I wish I had never done those things. If that had happened to someone in my family, like my mother or grandmother, I would be really mad at the people who did that to them."

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Supporters Raise $400,000 for Bullied School Bus Monitor

UpdatePosted 06/21/2012 06:00PM

Karen Klein, School Bus Monitor, Feels Sorry for Kids Who Bullied Her

Originally posted 06/21/2012 10:20AM

Some students on Bus No. 784 were calling her names on Monday. One said she looked like a troll. Another told her she didn't have a family because they all committed suicide.

In the 10-minute video that has since gone viral with nearly 2.7 million views (so far), upstate New York bus monitor Karen Klein, 68, takes the teasing and taunts sitting down and without raising her voice.

And that took "a lot of will power," the Greece Central School District employee told the Today show Thursday morning. "I'm not usually that calm."

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