"I know kids can be cruel, I am aware that it’s not the fanciest sign, BUT this kid used the resources he had available to him to participate in a spirit day," his teacher said.
Nothing could stop this little boy from wearing his favorite college color to school on 'College Colors Day.' Obsessed with the Volunteers, he wanted nothing more than to represent the Vols, and although he didn't own any official apparel from the University of Tennessee, he found his own way to show off the bright color he's proud of.
"When I told my students about this day a week before, this particular child came to me and told me that he wanted to wear a University of Tennessee shirt, but he didn’t have one," his teacher, Laura Snyder, shared on Facebook. "We discussed that he could wear an orange shirt to show his spirit. He told me every day leading up to it that he had an orange shirt that he was going to wear."
With a little help from his mother, the boy pinned up his own U.T. design onto his orange shirt and couldn't wait to wear it to school. But halfway through 'College Colors Day', he was left in tears.
"So when the day finally arrived, he was SO EXCITED to show me his shirt. I was impressed that he took it one step further to make his own label. After lunch, he came back to my room, put his head on his desk and was crying," the teacher went on to say. "Some girls at the lunch table next to his (who didn’t even participate in college colors day) had made fun of his sign that he had attached to his shirt. He was DEVASTATED."
In a message that the boy's mother shared, she said, "When he came home from school the next day his design was missing from his shirt... I was one upset mommy."
Laura decided to get her student a University of Tennessee shirt of his own and also wrote, "I know kids can be cruel, I am aware that it’s not the fanciest sign, BUT this kid used the resources he had available to him to participate in a spirit day."
But once she shared the boy's story was shared on social media, the young one received an outpour of love and encouragement. A number of people reached out to the elementary school teacher and they managed to get the deserving boy his own package filled with goodies from the university he's obsessed with.
"My student was so amazed at all the goodies in the box," the teacher shared, as reported by CNN. "He proudly put on the jersey and one of the many hats in the box. All who saw had either goosebumps or tears while we explained that he had inspired and touched the lives of so many people."
However, things did not end there. When the concerned people at the University of Tennessee got to know of the incident, they decided to turn the boy's design into an official t-shirt. And from the proceeds they receive for every t-shirt, they've decided to send part of it to the anti-bullying foundation called STOMP Out Bullying.
"When I told him that his design was being made into a real shirt and people wanted to wear it, his jaw dropped," said Laura. "He had a big smile on his face, walked taller, and I could tell his confidence grew today!"
The boy's mother is also grateful for the love that so many strangers were able to show her little boy and said, "I am overwhelmed by the love I feel from this extended community and the pride I feel for my son for being a VFL. Every comment, item sent, and action taken on behalf of my son will never be forgotten and hopefully will serve as inspiration for him throughout his life."