‘Something special:’ Orange County students facing hardships shop for free with A Gift For Teaching

Students were nominated by their teachers to participate in ‘Grant A Wish’ event held Friday

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A Gift For Teaching gave three Orange County students the opportunity to shop for free during its yearly “Grant a Wish” event on Friday.

A total of 13 carts filled with more than $10,000 worth of supplies and gifts.

Jhon, a third-grader from Pinewood Elementary, Yasmin, an eighth-grader from Apopka Memorial Middle, and Leslie, an 11th-grader at BETA School, wasted no time filling up their shopping carts with all sorts of toys and supplies at the free teacher supply store.

[TRENDING: Man washing hands in Florida pond bitten by alligator, police say | ‘I couldn’t breathe:’ Tavares officer who overdosed in traffic stop recounts fentanyl exposure | Become a News 6 Insider]

“When we got the idea, (we thought), ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to do something special for a student? A really deserving student who is succeeding in the classroom despite really big personal challenges,’” A Gift for Teaching President Jane Thompson said.

The students were nominated by their teachers for their hard work and outstanding attitude despite circumstances and hardships.

“Jhon is the sweetest kid ever. Jhon teaches me about perseverance, about showing up, and just being kind and being happy no matter what the situation is,” Ms. Philip-Malahoo said.

Philip-Malahoo said Jhon has a big heart and is always looking out for others, and he filled up a total of 7 shopping carts on Friday.

The third-grader said he plans to share some of the gifts with his friends and family members.

“I got some stuff for my parents and somebody from school,” Jhon said.

All three students were also rewarded with additional surprises from Chick-fil-A, Crayola Experience, Enterprise Holdings, Icon Park, T.G. Lee Dairy and Universal Orlando Resort.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!