Brennan Draves is a 10-year-old boy who has been blind for his entire life. As he sat in his fifth-grade classroom at Bay City Mackensen Elementary, it was Brennan’s sense of hearing that made him realize just how much his fellow classmates cared for him. The students of the elementary school revealed to Brennan that they were able to raise enough money to purchase a BrailleNote computer for Brennan which would allow him to have an easier time learning.
Over the course of four days of fundraising, the students at the elementary school raised $7,000 in order to purchase the specialized computer for Brennan. When the students read their script to Brennan, they made sure to let him know that this computer was his to keep all year long, not just during the school year. During the presentation, it was clear that Brennan did not know what to do with himself as he was hearing the incredible news. He was clearly nervous and unsure what to do with his body. Finally, Brennan began to cry. The student’s teacher, Tracy McMartin, asked the class a question.
“Do you guys know what tears of joy are?”
Brennan said that the BrailleNote computer was the greatest Christmas gift he had ever received. His mother and step-father knew that the students were going to present this gift to him, but they were not prepared for the emotions that they would be feeling when they saw the reaction of their son. The cost of the specialized computer was out of the price range for the family. They had hoped that they would be able to buy something like this for Brennan later on in life. Now, they don’t have to.
“We were thinking it was something we could buy when he goes to college. This is just absolutely incredible.”
The students used crowd-funding in order to raise the $7,000 they needed. McMartin said that the students wanted to do something special for Christmas and decided on the BrailleNote computer for Brennan. McMartin set up a GoFundMe page and the donations came rolling in. When she woke up the next morning, McMartin was shocked to see that the page had generated $3,000 worth of donations. It is worth your time to click on the link here and watch the video that was made by McMartin and the students.
“I couldn’t believe it. The generosity from this school and community completely blew me away.”
Brennan is already good at operating the computer since it is similar to the one he uses at the school. The one he got as a Christmas gift is less limiting and will allow Brennan to do more tasks on it. Some of the functions that Brennan will now be able to do are play music, read books, and use the innovative word processing software. The word processing software will come in very handy since Brennan is in the process of writing his own fantasy novel.
— Pat Peters, Ph.D. (@PatVPeters) December 18, 2015
The GoFundMe campaign raised more than the $7,000 that was stated as the goal. As of this writing, the campaign has raised $7,455. The extra money will go towards buying special software for the computer and a special type of backpack that will make it easier for Brennan to carry his new computer and textbooks.
Tracy McMartin taught her students a lesson that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. McMartin commented about the students and the community.
“I’ve never seen so many kids excited about giving a gift. We have a lot of great people in this community.”
With all the bad news that we see and read each day, it is refreshing to read a story about a bunch of kids who wanted to give their blind classmate a computer to help him learn.
[Image Via YouTube]