Just in time for Christmas, a viral video from a California high school is reminding us all about the true reason for the season.
Shawn Hawkins, a 15-year-old student from Antioch High School, was heartbroken after a gift from his late grandmother went missing while he was in gym class. The student's bag was too big for his gym locker, so he left it sitting on the ground outside of his class.
That's when a thief took what mattered most to Hawkins. He ignored the boy's cell phone, his ear buds, and even video games in his backpack, but took a Nintendo 3DS XL game system.
The game system was a gift from the teen's late grandmother, but also had a special significance to Hawkins, who dreams of becoming a video game designer when he grows up.
“I was very distraught and sad,” he told a local newspaper.
Hawkins left a message on the school's whiteboard, asking for the system to be returned "no questions asked," but there was no luck. But one of his fellow students noticed how badly Hawkins missed the system, and planned a touching surprise.
Now, a video of their incredible gift is going viral.
Shawna Cantiliano, a 16-year-old student at Antioch, saw the heartbreaking message Hawkins left on the whiteboard.
“He asked for it back and said, who ever took it, he wouldn’t tell anyone,” she remembers. But after his request was ignored, Cantiliano took matters into her own hands.
I have a lot of pride sharing this video I received from my sister today. My sister is a student at Antioch High and a fellow student had his Nintendo 3DS stolen from him and wrote a message on a white board for all to see just begging for it to be given back to him stating t meant a lot and was from a grandparent. My sister and her friends saw this, shared his message to all their friends through social media, and still no DS was given back. So my sister and her friends came up with he idea of all pitching in money to get the student a NEW Nintendo 3DS. Look at the emotion on the kids face! These are kids doing kind things for another and I am so proud my sister was a huge part of it. Feel free to share so all can see the good that still exists! *** To use this video in a commercial or in broadcasts please email firstname.lastname@example.org***Posted by Kasey Freire on Thursday, December 14, 2017
"I had the idea to raise donations and just get him a new one since no one had come forward to bring it back.” At first, she collected just over a dozen small donations, mostly between $5 and $10, but when Cantiliano explained the idea to her history teacher, she took the plan to the next level.
“She said to raise [whatever] donations I can and she’d just pay the difference.”
After the teacher bought Hawkins a new game system, the students presented him with it just in time for the holidays. And, of course, they captured the sweet moment on video.
"Thank you! Thank you!” Hawkins said, visibly emotional.
“We gave it to him and he started crying, saying, ‘Oh, you’re an angel from God!’” Cantiliano remembers.
“I was stricken with happiness,” Hawkins said about the generous gift. “It’s a Christmas miracle. Even though it wasn’t Christmas, I felt it was a gift from God.”
What an incredible surprise!