They skipped their graduation party to give generously.
In Pontes e Lacerda, a small city in the Brazilian countryside, the senior class of a public high school decided to donate to a teacher all the money they had collected for their graduation party. The reason: they wanted to help pay for the health care of their teacher’s son, Enzo.
The money, the total amount of which was not disclosed, was raised through raffle ticket sales, fundraising events, and the students’ own savings.
The idea of giving up the party to help their teacher, Lucilene Ezequiel, was proposed in a chat group in WhatsApp and quickly gained everyone’s support. “We weren’t thinking so much about not having a party for our class. We thought more about helping the teacher who was in need,” Athur Felipe Sales Cayres, 17, told Brazilian news outlet G1.
The teacher was very moved by her students’ gesture of solidarity. “I simply cried, because it was a mixture of sorrow—because I know that [graduation] is important for them—and joy, because somehow I made a difference for them. We’ve seen so many sad things, expressions of disrespect for their teachers, that we felt discouraged, but what these students did was so beautiful that we forgot those things,” Lucilene said.
The medical treatment
The students were touched by the story of the teacher, whose seven-year-old son has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that causes pain and lesions on his body.
He receives treatment in a far-away city and, despite the government’s help, the family has to fund trips, tests, and some medicines. According to the teacher, although the disease is under control, it is incurable.
Word of the students’ solidarity spread through the city and raised the awareness of the city’s residents. The impact was so great that businessmen from the region got together and decided to donate a graduation party for the young people. According to the website Gohurb, the students invited Lucilene Ezequiel to be the “godmother” of their party, and her son Enzo was the guest of honor.
Yes, solidarity begets solidarity.