Texas Fifth Graders Save Their Allowance Money to Buy Special Glasses for Color Blind Classmate

"There is goodness in the world and there is goodness in the hearts of the next generation," Jaron Casillas' mom tells PEOPLE

<p>Grapvine-Collyeville ISD</p> Jaron Casillas, 10, a color blind student, tries on his special glasses that were paid for by his classmates

Grapvine-Collyeville ISD

Jaron Casillas, 10, a color blind student, tries on his special glasses that were paid for by his classmates

A group of Texas elementary school students recently went above and beyond for one of their 10-year-old classmates who has color blindness.

Jaron Casillas, a fifth grader at Glenhope Elementary in Colleyville, grew up with color blindness. “When Jaron was first talking,” Lindsay Casillas, Jaron’s mom, tells PEOPLE, “he couldn't tell us the color of objects, but I knew for certain that he was colorblind one morning as I was driving beneath an especially spectacular Texas sunrise. I heard his little voice from the car seat behind me say, ‘Look, Mommy! Look at the beautiful green sunshine!’”

According to the National Eye Institute, color blindness is a condition in which a person sees color differently than most people. A common type of color vision deficiency is the inability to distinguish between red and green, or when blue and yellow look the same. There is no cure, but special glasses and contact lenses can help people see the differences, per the institute.

One day, during a discussion circle in class, Jaron brought up his condition and told his colleagues that he sees gray when a majority of people see purple, green and blue. When teacher Christina Hayes asked him whether there were special glasses for people who are color blind, Jaron said yes, but they were expensive.

<p>Courtesy of Lindsay Casillas</p> Jaron Casillas as a very young child, pointing to the sky

Courtesy of Lindsay Casillas

Jaron Casillas as a very young child, pointing to the sky

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After class, Jaron’s classmates privately approached Hayes and asked if they could raise money to buy Jaron those special glasses. As reported by ABC affiliate WFAA, they set aside their allowance money along with donations and together generated enough money to buy two pairs of special glasses: one for indoors and the other for outdoors.

Days after the initial discussion, the class surprised Jaron with his new glasses on Thursday, with Jaron’s parents in attendance for the presentation. "They donated their own allowances, happily, because they love you and they care about you," Hayes told Jaron, per WFAA.

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“Witnessing the outpouring of compassion towards Jaron and unharnessed joy in the faces of so many children chanting his name, was a moment I will never forget,” Lindsay later tells PEOPLE.

“As a mom, you want to be there for all your child's firsts,” she adds. “The first step, the first word, the first taste of ice cream. It felt like I was looking on to a similar moment, but this time, Jaron's dad and I were gathered with dozens of faces filled with love and the anticipation of their gift received... and a new ‘first’ for their friend.”

Lindsay also says that Jaron will need to relearn the names of colors and shades that he associated with certain objects, especially when he had previously described grass as “red.” “However, after we picked him up from school, Jaron, still beaming and wearing the glasses, announced that his classmates already had this covered," she adds. "One friend has volunteered to make flashcards and work with him on his primary colors, and another wants to take the lead on secondary colors.”

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At the time when he received his new glasses in class, Jaron said, per NBC affiliate KXAS, "I'm just really excited because I know that my friends are really true friends for doing this for me. I can't believe this is happening!"

For Lindsay, this moment provided a deeper lesson than just the glasses. “For so many children to bring their allowances in hand,” she tells PEOPLE, “and to unite in a project of kindness and giving, demonstrates to me that there is goodness in the world and there is goodness in the hearts of the next generation. This is the story that we are talking about at the dinner table.”

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