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Heartwarming

December 5, 2017

Share a story

I received an email from a former student last week who is teaching art at York High School. David Shenett was moved to action after a conversation with his mother about Jacob Thompson. What follows is the story of how York High School students responded. Thank you David for sharing!

The story of Jacob Thompson, the young boy whose only wish was to experience a final Christmas and receive as many Christmas cards as he could, made national headlines. Thousands of cards and notes of support came from around the nation. Police came from all over New England to deliver cards to this little boy who had little time left. 
While talking with my mom on the phone about this, she asked me “What do you plan to do?”
I responded that I wasn’t sure what she meant. She said: “You are an art teacher. Where are your cards?”
It hadn’t occurred to me.
The next day I explained Jacob’s story to all of my students – my Art 1 classes, my Ceramics classes, my sculpture classes, all my classes. Many of the kids had heard of Jacob and had even thought about making a card for him. That day we all made cards. We painted, we folded, we drew, we threw penguins everywhere we could. Other classes in other parts of our school heard what we were doing and contributed their own cards. And they wrote – unprompted – some of the most heartfelt wishes for a Merry Christmas and support and good wishes I’d ever heard. The true power of art was on full display and the kids ‘got it’. They saw what art can do for the soul and for others. Looking at the stack and having experienced the tremendous enthusiasm and energy the kids exhibited that day, I was moved to tears. I have a little boy about Jacob’s age. As a teacher, I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of a group of kids.
That evening I made the trip to Maine Medical Center to deliver our box of cards from York High School. The nurses were very impressed with the artistry some of the cards had, and they promptly brought our box into Jacob’s room where he was sleeping.
Jacob had his Christmas and soon passed away. He received thousands of cards and gifts. Maybe other schools did the same thing?  Did he even see ours? Who knows? But what we did will be something I will never forget. 
I just wanted to share this, especially as we near the time of the year where we put other ahead of ourselves and express, sometimes visually, what they mean to us.

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