We have heard some amazing stories of how Bennett touched people, but this one tops the list! I’m going to let my sister-in-law, Meg, explain it to you since she had the privilege of seeing it firsthand…
A very sweet teacher, Ms. Hewitt, from Vickery Elementary School in the Dallas area, has the privilege of teaching some of the greatest kids. And I would know, my family got to meet them today. Ms. Hewitt heard about Bennett’s story and began reading the blog to the class. The kids learned a lot about St. Jude and how the hospital operates solely on donations so that the families don’t have to worry about the financial burden often associated with childhood diseases. But it didn’t stop there! The kids continued to follow the blog and decided it was time to take action…they wanted to give back to St. Jude too and in Bennett’s honor. The class brainstormed and came up with the brilliant idea to sell donated books to raise money. They turned a dream into an idea, and idea into a blessing.
We were honored to be invited to see the fruits of their labor. They asked our family and a representative from St. Jude to come to the class to present St. Jude with a donation check from the books they had sold. Our family was greeted at the office by several sweet girls from the class, who graciously escorted us to the classroom for the presentation. My breath was literally taken away as I walked into an elementary classroom to see poster after poster and sign after sign of things like “Team Bennett”, “We Love St. Jude”, and “Blessed One”. The room was filled with things for St. Jude and Bennett, his pictures were on the walls and I was crying before the presentation even began.
Ms. Hewitt’s class set up coffee, donuts, muffins and cookies for us to enjoy during our visit to her classroom. It actually reminded me of the awesome hospitality we received at St. Jude when Bennett was there. Several kids started off the presentation by explaining their goal to raise money and make a donation in honor of Bennett and how much he had meant to each of them, even though they never had met him. They showed us a slideshow that they put together of their journey! The music that played during the slideshow was “I Am” by David Crowder…or what they like to call Bennett’s song. They had all heard it on the blog and wanted that song for the slideshow.
After the slideshow, each one…YES, EACH ONE…stood in front of my parents, George and Martha Coleman, and Jennifer, the St. Jude representative, to thank them. Each child spoke confidently and I was so amazed by their leadership and poise. They presented our family with cards and then St. Jude with cards too. I cried as each one spoke because we got to hear wonderful things like “The blog helped me to know that God loves children”, “Bennett is healed”, ” I am sorry for your loss, but Bennett taught me to be brave”! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from these beautiful children. One after the other were speaking far wiser words than I could have mustered up at that moment, and it will be a memory I treasure in my heart forever.
And in that moment, God reminded me that He is not gone from our schools or our kids. He used St. Jude, Ben, Megan and Bennett to touch these kids’ hearts, and I got to witness the fruit of His spirit in them. And can you believe that they raised over $1400 for St. Jude in Bennett’s honor…I can! They started off with a goal of $600 and more than doubled it. These children made a difference! Thank you Vickery Elementary for such a special day.
Here is the slideshow that the kids made of their journey to raise money for St. Jude:
Are you in love with these kids as much as I am? We are completely blown away by their love for Bennett and their determination to make a difference. And I know they are reading this blog in their class. So Ms. Hewitt’s class…you rock! You have blessed us a thousand times over and I know that Bennett is giving you a fist bump from heaven. Please don’t ever forget that you are precious in the eyes of Jesus and His hands are on each of you. Here is what He says…
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
Thank you for loving our son so well!