Students with special needs get big surprise - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Students with special needs get big surprise

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GONZALES, LA (WAFB) -

A group of students with special needs who attend Central Middle School got a big surprise courtesy of Nike.

Melissa LeBlanc Goodwin, a teacher at the school, took to Facebook to recount the outing that left her with "no words" and "unable to describe her feelings."

She says she took her students on a field trip to Tanger Outlets in Gonzales after the students all wrote personal, handwritten letters to Nike's president, Mark Parker. Goodwin says at the beginning of the year, she read about Converse's 100th anniversary celebrating their All Star shoes and decided to have her students reach out. 

She wasn't even expecting to hear back, but in return, Nike sent the class gift cards so they could get something special.

Goodwin says she brought her kids to the store and they picked out shoes, socks, athletic equipment, and other goodies. However, she says several new students have joined her class since the gift cards were sent, so some of the kids did not have money to get what they wanted.

That's when the store's manager, Toni Perkins, stepped in. She insisted all the kids pick out what they wanted and comped the items.

"This lady was an angel sent to us today. I know she didn’t do this for recognition and she was extremely humble. It was something many would want to do, but not necessarily be able to do. I couldn’t thank her enough," Goodwin wrote in her Facebook post.

Goodwin says this gesture brought her to tears right there in the store. The kids were elated. Perkins also told Goodwin that Nike loves to champion volunteer efforts at schools and that if they ever needed anything, to just reach out.

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