San Jose kids surprised by teddy bears delivered by 'Justice League' superheroes

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Recess is often the most favorite part of a child's day, but students at Toyon Elementary were treated to a special surprise Thursday afternoon.

With gifts in hand, a group of volunteers dressed up as members of the Justice League and stopped by to spread some holiday cheer.

"Seeing their expression is awesome," said Dave Watkins, the San Jose resident behind the effort. "It's always good to make a difference in some kid's life and that's why we do this."

Watkins, who works at a San Jose area Nob Hill Foods store, was inspired to launch the project a few years back after battling cancer. With support from Raley's Food for Families program, he started by bringing stuffed animals to local hospitals and schools.

"When they're alone, when they're bullied or something, they always have that one teddy bear that's smiling up at them, the teddy bear that's soft, that's used as a pillow," said Watkins. "They can use it as comfort."

Toyon has a special place in Watkins' heart, because it's where his mom worked for nearly 30 years before retiring. More than half of the students come from low-income families.

"To have a moment of joy, just to play and be carefree, I think is really special," said Toyon principal Krista Castillou. "It brings the child in all of us out."

Families at Toyon say they're grateful for the love ahead of the holidays.

"The kids get happy with the simplest things and this made their day," said San Jose resident Esther Barrera. "My granddaughters are loving their little bears... they're really nice."

Take a look at all of ABC7's Building a Better Bay Area stories and videos.
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.