PUEBLO WEST, Colo. — Not every birthday needs a party to bring the surprise. At Pueblo West High School, it came from the friends of a special needs student.
Dalston Stiner, Joe Gallery, Danny Spence, John Strait, and Vladimr Dapovich are all sophomore student-athletes, and the student, Will, has started hanging out with them at lunchtime.
They recently saw Will post on Facebook, questioning if he was going to get any gifts for his birthday on Wednesday.
“To see him actually sharing with other people he’s not going to get anything made me really understand how sad he is,” said Stiner.
Sadness, though, didn’t stand a chance in the group’s new friendship. They noticed Will’s shoes were too big, and he kept talking about the Grand Theft video games.
“He probably didn’t expect anything, as much as he was bragging about that stuff, to see him get up and give you a big hug, it made you feel really good about yourself like you really did something good for someone else,” said Gallery.
They got him some new checkered Vans in his favorite color, as well.
“It just made me really happy to see him, his face glow up,” said Dapovich.
As the video above shows, when Will is given his gifts, he immediately hugs his friends. Some sniffling can be heard behind the camera.
“To give Dalston and John, all of us a hug for it was pretty emotional,” said Strait. “To see someone who probably has a little harder life than most people get super excited over something as simplistic as a birthday gift.”
School faculty gave the students challenge coins that encourage and reward students to do good in school and the community, but the students say it was never about the reward.
“It just mostly made me happy to make him happy because I know he might not be getting as much as other people will for their birthdays so I just wanted to make him happy,” said Spence.