KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Less than four months after a popular teacher’s murder, some of his students are about to get a big Christmas surprise.
“I don’t even care if I put up a tree or not, I just want to make an impact and let them known in spite of things we still care,” Gaye Weston said as she wrapped presents at her home Thursday night.
For most families like hers, holiday spirit is a little tough to come by. Weston's son Brandon Johnson was shot and killed near 28th and Mersington in September.
But while her family grieved the loss of the father of two who was engaged to be married in February, so did Johnson’s other family at Kansas City's Melcher Elementary.
Johnson, 30, coached and taught after-school programs.
“I was just glad to know that he had such an impact and he meant so much to somebody else’s kids besides his own,” Weston said.
The children made giant cards for "Mr. B's" family including one with basketballs with wings. That’s when Weston knew she had to do something to help the students she calls Brandon’s Angels.
So she and her family raised money with the help of co-workers and friends to buy Christmas gifts for four of his brightest and most well-behaved students.
“The kids that were trying to do the right thing, those are the kids that I wanted,” Weston said.
Brandon’s mom, sister and nephews spent the night wrapping Barbies and balls and plenty of other gifts. They plan to surprise the children with them by Christmas Eve. For Weston, it’s a way to honor her son’s legacy, and make sure his life wasn’t in vain.
“He was just a fun guy, he loved life, and I just hope these kids get that excitement this Christmas.”
Weston says she hopes to turn "Brandon’s Angels" into a foundation helping student year-round with school supplies.