Kids & Family

Students Rally To Surprise Sick Teacher With Christmas Carols

When their beloved teacher was diagnosed with cancer, they carried on her message of kindness.

Laurie Burpee was resting at her home in Vancouver, WA on a recent Monday evening when she noticed a light shining on her front lawn, followed by a group of little Santa hats.

Burpee, who is currently on medical leave from her job as a second-grade teacher at York Elementary School, went outside to investigate. That's when she noticed a group of nearly 30 kids from her school, all gathered to sing Christmas carols for one of their favorite teachers.

"I thought there are kids out there and then I thought, there are a lot of kids out there," Burpee (pictured below) told " Good Morning America ." "When I went to the door and saw they were kids from school, the tears started to flow."

Burpee was diagnosed with cancer in May. Doctors thought she had breast cancer, so she underwent a double mastectomy and they found a rare salivary gland cancer had formed in one of her breasts. She's had multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, and while she's been resting and recovering, the community was planning to surprise her with a night of caroling.

The school's principal, Dawn Harris, had a big role in planning the surprise.

"She's just this loving heart," Harris (pictured below, middle) said of Burpee. "She reminds us that we need to show kindness every day ... and we're continuing to live that in our building because of her."

The school launched a kindness project in Burpee's honor that was inspired by her annual tradition of doing acts of kindness with her friends on her birthday. A parent created a Facebook page where teachers and students can get ideas for their own kindness acts and post about the acts they carry out themselves.

As Burpee enjoyed the carolers outside of her home, she got another surprise from Kindness 911, a local non-profit organization that partners with police to recognize kindness in the community. While the sirens and flashing lights of the cop car made her nervous at first, she was relieved when she found out they were only there to give her a Kindness 911 Citation.

Along with the citation, Kindness 911 gave her VIP tickets to a Seattle Mariners baseball game and tickets for a local concert venue.

Check out Kindness 911 in action...

(Source: Kindness 911 Facebook)

"It was just overwhelming but what a wonderful, wonderful, surprise," said Burpee. "The best part was the kids. I miss those kids so much and I miss my colleagues."

Burpee is thrilled that her message of kindness is spreading.

"This should never be about me," Burpee said. "It should just be about kindness growing and people realizing that sharing that is powerful."

Inspired by this community's incredible act of kindness? Why not be like Ms. Burpee and incorporate kindness into your everyday routine? Even the smallest acts can make a difference. Let's work together and #StartSomethingGood.

(Source: images Glen Erickson Facebook )

How can you start something good?
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