This class could teach us all a lesson in generosity.
When Tennessee third grader Daniel Hunt’s home burned down, he lost everything — so his teachers and classmates planned a secret toy drive.
“The kids could not wait to do this for Daniel,” Philadelphia Elementary School counselor Kelly Jones tells TODAY. “It was amazing to witness the excitement these third-grade kids had while sneaking in toys.”
In the week following the devastating Sept. 21 house fire, the 8-year-old’s classmates “couldn’t love him enough,” Jones says. His fellow Philly “Warriors” held doors for him, got his pencil ready for him each morning, took his chair down from his desk for him to sit in — and made sure he played at recess.
One thing they didn’t do: Spill the beans about all the toys they were stockpiling for him. “They kept the best secret,” says Jones.
On Friday, the third graders excitedly waited for Daniel to enter the classroom before yelling “surprise!”
Daniel was left speechless. When he found his voice, he called for a group hug. “I love it! Everyone come here,” he said, his arms wide open.
“Every adult and even a few students had tears swelling up in their eyes who were in the room to witness this,” Jones says.
Gifts spilled across four desks and included a plush Pikachu, board games, toy cars and a football.
On the way home, Daniel was overwhelmed with happiness, telling his grandmother Marsha Hunt, “I have joy in my stomach.”
“He has looked at each and every toy big and small and he loves them all. Thank you so much,” Marsha wrote on Facebook.
“I feel extremely blessed to have witnessed the pure love and giving from the hearts of the third-grade students at my school,” says Jones.