Local students give back to Columbia County firefighters

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Saturday, January 26, 2019

GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A little kindness can go along way. Kids from the Dream Academy in Columbia County returned the favor to firefighters who took them shopping for Christmas.

Now, in their own way, the kids are saying thank you.

Two bowls -- of 35 gallons of chili, 72 hot dogs, one busy chef, and more than a dozen eager servers set the table for some very special guests.

"Hi, welcome to the Dream Academy Restaurant," said one excited student, greeting her first guests.

It's called the Dream Academy because it really does help kids get closer to reaching their own dreams. Local first responders have become a big part of that.

"We're blown away, this is awesome," said one firefighter.

Back in December, the firefighters took these kids shopping for Christmas toys. Now the kids say, they're just returning the favor.

"I feel like we should do something to repay them, to show some part of our gratitude," said one student.

The kids transformed their activity room into a full service restaurant, down to the menus and decor.

"This is more than any of us expected to be apart of," said one firefighter. "This is so neat,"

The kids even wrote encouraging messages for the firefighters. One said "continue to be brave for our community,"

While the dinner was good for the battalion --

"I think if we had more events like this and more folks involved, I think we'd see a big change in our community," said one firefighter.

-- it was just as good for the kids, too.

"I think you should give back the love that they give to you," said Heaven Youngblood, a Dream Academy student.