Teachers might not have big pocketbooks, but they definitely have big hearts.
“I want to give my fifth grade kiddos a Christmas they’ll never forget,” says Dwayne Reed, a first-year teacher in Chicago.
We met Mr. Reed while working on a special teacher shower surprise a few months ago. Then most recently, he developed an original song to help us get the word out about recycling.
When we saw on social media that he was trying to play Santa and help fulfill student wish lists, we had to learn more.
Making a Wish
It started with a single Facebook post on his teacher page, sharing how he asked his students to create wishlists of things they wanted—valued around $20 or less.
“Are you going to get us all this stuff?” his students asked.
“Heck no,” he replied. “I am a BROKE teacher.”
He invented a story about how seeing their student wish lists would help him understand each of them more as a person. And then he put his secret plan into action and created an Amazon wish list with their requests. Then he put a call to action on social media, urging his followers to become Santa’s helpers to create an amazing memory for his students.
“This is something important for me to do because many of my scholars and their families don’t have the best financial situations,” Mr. Reed says. “I figured if I could add one little bit of cheer to their holiday, then that would be successful in my book.”
Checking it Twice
The items on Amazon came directly from the student wish lists. You’ll find everything from books and gift cards to games, fidget spinners, and even winter hats. Oh, and slime—so many requests for slime-making supplies.
Mr. Reed plans to surprise the kids on the day of their holiday party, just before they head home for break.
“The best thing is they have NO idea that I’ve planned on getting them anything, he says. “I’m also going to dress up as Santa, while another fifth grade teacher has promised to be an elf. It’s going to be epic!”
Mr. Reed says he can’t actually take credit for the idea. He saw another teacher friend of his post something similar, so he asked her if he could borrowl it.
He’s been really happy with the responses so far and is excited for party day.
“It means the world to me that people would be so kind as to help strangers here in little old Chicago.”
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