TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Every morning starts the same way in Mr. Jeff’s preschool class. Singing songs, and big smiles.
“They always bring a smile to my face and they bring joy to my heart and that’s why I keep doing this,” said Jeff Carter the 3rd, Heritage Centers Special Education Teacher.
“He spends a lot of time trying to individualize for every child regardless of what they need and he knows all of the families,” said Dawn Colosimo, Heritage Centers Special Education Teacher.
Jeff Carter has 13 preschoolers in his class, and they all have a range of developmental disabilities.
“We work really hard on social skills and making the kids enjoy school,” said Carter.
“He gives everything to these kids even with what he’s going through. He puts his heart and soul into it,” said Colosimo.
The kids bring him joy, at a time he needs it the most. Jeff Carter’s kidney has shut down. And it’s not the first time, his father donated a kidney to him in the late 90’s.
“Unfortunately that kidney also started to fail about 2 years ago and a year ago it completely shut down and I had to go back on hemodialysis,” said Carter.
Dialysis 5 nights a week, 3 hours a day keeps Jeff alive while he waits for a perfect match. He says his family and his students are what keep him going.
“I might have a really rough night on dialysis but I know I can come in the next morning and greet all these smiling faces. There’s nothing like a bunch of smiles and hi how are you, Mr. Jeff we missed you,” said Carter.
School staff have organized a benefit to help the Carter family with medical expenses.
It’s taking place Saturday June 17th 3-8 pm at St. Leo the Great, 885 Sweet Home Road in Amherst.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Dawn Colosimo 702-249-4725 or Gillian Bobrowski 716-876-3326.
The benefit includes a silent auction, 50/50, basket raffle, and bake sale.