22 Special-Needs Students Dine at Restaurant, Unaware There’s a Surprise in Store for Them

By Li Yen, Epoch Times
February 26, 2019 Updated: March 7, 2019

This is a wonderful little account that involves an anonymous Florida couple who secretly decided to do something special for a group of students with developmental disabilities and their teachers, when they were all dining at a local restaurant one day.

The teachers at South Miami Senior High School in Miami, Florida, regularly take their special education students on outings so as to teach them life and social skills.

“Once a week we take our kids out into the community,” teacher Jacquelyn Lara told WSVN. “So we’ll go to the mall, we’ll go to lunches.”

The best boys ever ! #highschoolrocks

Posted by Jackie Lara on Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Now serving warm welcomes and comfort food classics at the all new Bend, Oregon, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store! #HometownCrackerBarrel

Posted by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store on Wednesday, 20 February 2019

During the week leading up to Christmas in December 2018, Lara brought her students to a local Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Unbeknownst to the students and teachers, a couple was secretly watching them while they convened around the tables to eat lunch together.

By the time the group finished their meal, they were given an unexpected surprise. Rather than a bill, the waitress presented them with a note.

On the note, it read: “Merry Christmas. Just a way to say thank you for all you do for the children. Please use any money left over on a party for the kids. May God bless you all!”

Posted by Jackie Lara on Wednesday, 19 December 2018

It transpired that the couple, who wished to remain anonymous, had quietly paid the lunch bill for all 22 special-needs students and their teachers.

The couple’s heartwarming gesture left Lara and her co-worker touched and overcome with emotion.

Posted by Jackie Lara on Sunday, 22 October 2017

“I looked at the waitress in awe. I just honestly felt that she restored my faith in humanity,” Lara said.

“Tears of joy,” another teacher, Jennifer Coco, said. “We didn’t expect that at all.”

As for the students, they were grateful to receive the couple’s special holiday surprise.

“It made us feel really good because no one has ever done that,” student Jennifer Alcaide said. “We felt so surprised that they paid for our bill. I’m really thankful for that.”

Posted by Jackie Lara on Wednesday, 19 December 2018

To show appreciation and to give thanks, these 22 students kept their hands busy making “Thank You” cards for the kind couple upon returning to the classroom.

“We are so thankful because, even if it was $5 given to us, the fact that someone noticed and did that gesture—it speaks volumes of them and just of humanity,” Lara said.

Not only had the couple treated the students and teachers to a meal, they had also warmed their hearts with the beautiful gesture!

Kudos to the couple for extending their kind hearts to all those special-needs children and their dedicated teachers.

Nope!!! Won't stop my students !! #autismawarenesseveryday

Posted by Jackie Lara on Friday, 29 September 2017