HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Random acts of kindness go a long way in making a difference in someone's life. One recently happened in Russellville. It touched the heart of a member of our WHNT News 19 family. It was a show of love and support he wasn't expecting.
Chief Meteorologist Jason Simpson loves speaking to our viewers across the Tennessee Valley. That includes reading to kids and talking to them about the weather. But he had no idea what was up when he visited kindergartners at Russellville’s West Elementary School. “It's all about random acts of kindness, giving back to our community,” Monica Moon told us in a hallway. She’s the assistant principal. “That's what we're about. That's our golden tiger pride,” she added.
The children walked into the auditorium where Jason was going to speak one by one. They were carrying stuffed animals they’d been collecting since last August as a service project. “We are donating them in honor of Jason's son Brody,” Monica said. “We're doing Bears for Brody.”
It totally caught Jason by surprise. When he realized what was going on, he looked at Monica and said, “I don’t know if I'm going to be able to talk.” It touched his heart and brought a tear to his eye.
The donations will bring a smile to the faces of other children. It was the school’s way of thanking Jason for all he does for the community. “We know that his hope and faith is encouraging to us and we want to be encouraging to him and his family also,” Monica said.
It was a gesture of kindness that made the world a little brighter. “I never expected to have anything quite like that,” Jason said choking up. “It's hard to put into words to see all these kids loving other kids. It's just amazing.”
With time to compose himself, he looked at the students and thanked them saying, “This is awesome. You don't know how many kids who are sick in the hospital that you have made their day so thank you for your generosity. You're awesome.” Jason and his family will deliver the donations down the road. “Thank you so much,” Jason added. “On behalf of Brody and on behalf of Children's Hospital of Alabama, thank you.”
It’s also a great opportunity for Jason to give all of us an update on Brody. You may remember that he came into the world a little early May 8, 2015. “We’ve had two heart surgeries so far. The first one was 13 days after he was born and the second one was eight months ago,” Jason told me.
The road has been long and rough at times. “This has been a tough three years, but it’s been worth it,” Jason said with a grin. “He’s smiling. He’s running. He’s jumping.” Something he couldn’t do before his second heart surgery.
Brody Simpson is a fighter. “I like to say he’s wiry. He’s made of some tough wire,” Jason said laughing. And he’s all boy. “Definitely. You can see that little evil grin coming out. You know he’s scheming to do something,” Jason said, “He loves his popcorn. He loves his cookies. He loves his suckers. And if you try to take it, you’re going to hear about it.”
Brody faces more surgeries down the road. “He’s got a lot ahead of him. He’s tough. He’s a fighter, like we said. We’re very confident that he’s going to come through with flying colors,” Jason said. He and his wife Lacey will keep the faith. “We’re going to keep the same faith that we’ve had these three years for the next however many years,” Jason said. “Give him the best possible chance that we can then let God take care of the rest.”