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HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - A kind-hearted gesture by an Alabama sixth-grader has gone viral after the girl gave up her ice cream money -- 75 cents -- to help fund the funeral for her teacher’s father-in-law.
Price Lawrence, an English teacher at Highlands Elementary School in Huntsville, posted about the moment Tuesday on Facebook. He said that his first period students could tell that he was “a little off” that morning, so he explained that his wife’s father had died over the weekend and that he was worried about her.
The students offered their condolences, then got busy on classwork. The subject of their teacher’s family’s loss was forgotten, except for one girl.
“While standing at my door giving hugs and high-fives at dismissal to second period, one little girl put something in my hand,” Lawrence wrote. “She told me, ‘This is for your wife. I know it was real expensive when my daddy died, and I don’t really want ice cream today anyways.’”
Lawrence posted a photo of what the girl gave him -- three quarters and a note on an index card on which she had written, “Ms. Laerence (sic), I’m sorry,” followed by a frowny face in what appeared to be red colored pencil.
“I wish the world would pay more attention to children,” Lawrence wrote. “We could learn a lot from them.”
As of Friday morning, Lawrence’s post had been shared close to 260,000 times. More than 31,000 people responded to it.
“That is how children should be raised,” one man wrote. “Kudos to that family.”
“God bless her little heart,” a woman wrote.
Other commenters said the girl’s gesture had them in tears.
“Amazing how much love children have,” another woman wrote. “God bless this little one. Learn from her.”
“If we all had a heart like this sweet child, what a wonderful world we would have,” a third woman wrote.
Lawrence’s wife, Jessica Lawrence, posted the image on her own Facebook page, saying that the girl’s heart “affected (her) in the most positive way.” Jessica Lawrence, a high school English teacher, went on to say that the child’s gesture reminded her of the famous quote children’s television icon Mr. Rogers used when discussing tragedy.
“My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,’” Rogers said. “To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers -- so many caring people in the world.”
Jessica Lawrence had a message for her own helpers.
“I see you, I love you and I appreciate you,” she wrote. “Thank you for giving me reason to continue to believe in the goodness of the world.”
One commenter wrote that he would not only give the girl a hug, but also make sure she gets all the ice cream she wants.
“I might have already paid the lunchroom for her ice cream for the rest of the week,” Price Lawrence responded. “Anonymously, of course.”