A team of dads warmed hearts this week after a video of them cheering up a scared little boy on the first day of school went viral.
James Wells, Patrick Faulkner and Dave Miller, joined by several other friends, got together on Tuesday to greet and encourage students on their way into Stearne Elementary School. They were there with the nonprofit group, Doing Our Part Eclectically, and a company called Peace and Love Attire to help kids get excited for the first day of the brand new school year by offering a warm welcome, distributing school supplies and giving out high-fives.
The first day of school can be tough. Nerves run high for many kids who aren’t sure what to expect, and too often the beginning of a new year can cause a lot of stress for students. When the group of dads noticed one boy having an especially tough morning, they leaped into action to cheer him up.
The elementary student was crying as he walked, obviously very nervous to go into the school.
Faulkner immediately approached and gave the boy a hug, followed by the others.
“When we see him crying, the innate nature in me was just go give him a hug,” Faulkner told WTXF-TV. “A lot of kids don’t get hugs in the morning,” he added. The dads surrounded the boy and began offering encouragement.
Jai Crabbe, the woman responsible for organizing the event, noticed the heartwarming moment about to unfold and started recording.
“It was one of the best moments I have ever experienced,” she said. “It was just so genuine.”
The dads complimented the boy’s shoes and promised him that everything was going to be OK. The men reflected that they each understood how the student was feeling — how easy it can be to feel intimidated when faced with new challenges.
Wells said, “It was just a magnet feeling, you saw him going through something we all felt before, we all felt this, and when we saw that we just all gravitated to this kid.”
“You’ve got this!” one man can be heard shouting in the video. With many pats on the back, kind words and cheers, the comforted student smiled and bravely walked into the school with the other boys and girls.
The dads were glad they were there to show the student that he was valued and loved.
“Our goal is just to show kids that there is love outside of the family, the community loves them too, and if we rally together as a community we are all pretty much family,” Miller said.
“If we can affect just one child, our job is done,” he added.
UPDATE, Sept. 9, 2019: This piece has been updated to include the organizers of the event, Jai Crabbe with Doing Our Part Eclectically, and Peace and Love Attire.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.