SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of South Florida students with developmental disabilities and their teacher received a special surprise at a local restaurant.

The students are part of the South Miami Senior High School’s special education program.

“Once a week we take our kids out into the community, basically to teach them life skills and social skills,” teacher Jacquelyn Lara said, “so we’ll go to the mall, we’ll go to lunches.”

This week, the students were taken to a Cracker Barrel in Florida City. At the end of their meal, instead of a bill — the group got a special note.

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

Lara said the unexpected note left her without words.

“Honestly, I was speechless,” she recounted. “I looked at the waitress in awe. I just honestly felt that she restored my faith in humanity.”

The bill for all 22 of them was taken care of.

Another teacher talked about her reaction to the kind gesture.

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

Students who participated in the gathering expressed appreciation for the generous donor.

“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.”

The couple who paid for the bill requested they remain anonymous.

Back at the classroom, the students were hard at work making “Thank You” cards to express their appreciation.

“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.

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