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How one special surprise at Northern Cass Schools will continue a local boy's legacy

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HUNTER, N.D. —One little boy who made it his life's mission to help others before he passed away just a few months ago, will be able to keep that promise.

Underneath a sheet in the commons of Northern Cass School lies a toybox.

One that may not take up a lot of space physically, but the meaning behind it is enough to fill this entire school, made in honor of 8-year old Jessy Haberman.

"This has just been a crazy ride for us," said Heather Haberman, Jessy's mom.

Just a few months ago Jessy lost his battle to an unknown syndrome he had been fighting his entire life.

But in that short time, he accomplished great things.

Four years ago Jessy and his family started Jessy's Toy Box, collecting toys every year to bring to kids going through treatment at Roger Maris in Fargo.

"It wasn't about people feeling sorry for him. He was about the giving and the loving. It shows with that smile, that contagious smile, and those dimples," said Haberman.

And even in his last days, his concern was still on others.

"He asked if he could still do the toy box. I made that promise to him, that I would help him. I told him, I would continue this for him because he loved it so much," said Haberman.

It's that promise, that brings us here.

This toybox a surprise for an important person in Jessy's life, his uncle Troy Kinn, a teacher at Northern Cass.

With the help of some friends and family, the toy box was revealed, a moment Troy will never forget.

"People have done amazing things for my family. And for them to do this for my brother, it's been so surreal," said Haberman.

Each detail of the toy box symbolic of Jessy.

"It's a blessing, I can't thank people enough for how much they have embraced Jessy," said Haberman.

And although it's safe to say Jessy was already an unforgettable kid.

"He was such an amazing little man," said Troy Kinn, Jessy's uncle.

A new, permanent mark is here to stay.

"That kid did more in eight years than some of us will ever do in a lifetime, and it'll keep going," said Kinn.

About 30-hours went into the making of this toy box.

Northern Cass school will do a toy drive for the next few months.

If you'd like to donate to Jessy's ToyBox visit, email:, or check out the Jessy's Toy Box Facebook Page.

Cassandra Rohlfing

After working part time at WDAY-TV during her college career, Cassandra – who goes by Cassie, joined the WDAY news team full-time in January as an Online Editor/Weekend Producer. She switched over to Reporter/Multimedia Journalist in June and is excited to work on stories you want to see!  She was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, ND and is part Turtle Mountain Chippewa. Cassie graduated from  North Dakota State University in December of 2015 with a degree in Journalism, and an emphasis in Broadcasting. Cassie bleeds green and gold and is an avid Bison Football fan who attended every home game in her college career, thanks to being a part of the Gold Star Marching Band. Her hobbies include binge watching TV shows on Netflix, attempting to work out, and getting outside when she can. If you have any questions/story ideas feel free to email or call. 

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