Classmates surprise 3rd grader with 'secret toy drive' after losing belongings in a house fire

A group of teachers and students in Tennessee surprised the third grader

September 30, 2019, 12:33 PM

A third-grade student in Tennessee was "so surprised and thankful" when his teachers and classmates replaced all of his toys that had burned in fire that claimed his family's home and possessions.

"Last week, one of our Warriors, Daniel Hunt, lost all of this belongings in a house fire," Philadelphia Elementary School shared in a Facebook post. "His 3rd-grade teachers and classmates started a secret toy drive for him to replace the toys he lost. He received the toys today and he was so surprised and thankful!"

Kelly Jones, a school counselor from PES, told ABC News that Daniel is "one of the most positive, happy students I’ve ever seen."

After their family lost their house and all of their belongings in a fire on Sept. 21, the school said people were "texting and calling asking what they could do to help" so the teachers organized "a secret toy drive."

"It was amazing to witness the excitement these third-grade kids had while sneaking in toys. The entire week, they couldn’t love him enough," Jones added. "People were holding doors for him, getting his pencil ready for him each morning, taking his chair down from the desk for him to sit in and swarming him at recess."

Teachers sent Daniel on an errand, piled the toys on the desks and snuck the students into one classroom. When he came back they all yelled "surprise" and Jones said Daniel "was speechless for a minute."

"He said, 'I love it! Everyone come here,' with his arms open wide and the kids swarmed in for a large group hug," Jones said of the special moment.

Daniel didn't immediately start going through the toys, but instead "wanted to give his classmates a hug for what they did for him."

"Every adult and even a few students had tears swelling up in their eyes who were in the room to witness this," Jones said. "I feel extremely blessed to have witnessed the pure love and giving from the hearts of the 3rd grade students at my school last week."

On the way home from school he told his grandmother, Marsha Hunt, "'I'm happy crying and I have joy in my stomach,'" she wrote on Facebook.

"I love that his friends gave from their heart to this special little grandson, they were so excited to give! He has looked at each and every toy, big and small, and he loves them all. Thank you so much!!!!!!"