When the house of Daniel Hunt, from the American state of Tennessee, burned to the ground, he lost everything. His teachers and classmates secretly planned a surprise, to take action.
“The children were really eager to do this for Daniel,” says school counselor, Kelly Jones, of the Philadelphia Elementary School. “It was amazing to witness the excitement these third-grade kids (who would be in our 5th grade) had while sneaking in the toys.”
The week after the devastating house fire on September 21, 2019, it showed how many of Daniels’ classmates commiserated with him. “They just couldn’t do enough for him,” Kelly says. His fellow “warriors” from Philly, as the city is affectionately called, held doors open for him, sharpened his pencil every morning, pulled his chair down from the table to sit on, and chose him first to play along with during the breaks.
One thing they didn’t do, however, was reveal the secret that they were collecting toys for him. “They kept it strictly secret,” remembers Mrs. Jones that week. “On Friday, the time had come. The day Daniel’s class had been waiting for all this time. That special moment when he came into the classroom where everyone was waiting to greet him with a “Surprise!”
Daniel was speechless. When he finally got over the bewilderment, he asked for a group hug. “I love it!” he said. “Everybody come here,” he continued, as he stretched out his arms. Both the children and the parents had tears in their eyes. He had presents spread over four benches, including a big plush Pikachu, board games, toy cars and a rugby ball.
On the way home, Daniel was still so excited that he said to his grandmother, Marsha, who picked him up from school, “I have happiness in my belly”. “He’s looked over his toys and said that he loves them all. Thank you very much!” Marsha wrote on her Facebook page.