For the last decade, Heather Benoit has treasured a simple present from one of her former students.
The 35-year-old program director used to teach first graders, second graders, third graders and special education students, and it was during her last Christmas season as a classroom instructor when she said one of her students gave her a simple offering that has stayed with her these last 10 years.
"The move that that student made [had] a huge impact on how I viewed things in life," Benoit told "Good Morning America."
Benoit initially shared the story behind the gift -- a simple purple crayon in a white box -- in a now-viral Facebook post, and said that although it may have been small, that gift had an outsized impact.
"When I opened it, I was like, 'It's purple.' And he was like, 'Yeah, that's your favorite color.' And I was like, 'Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry,'" she recalled. "To know that he took that time to pay attention to those minor details to make a huge movement is something that will always live in my head and [is] embedded in my heart."
To this day, she said she has kept both the crayon and gift box and even references it to the youth she works with currently at Wallace Community Center in Raceland, Louisiana.
"In the line of work I do now, a lot of these kids come from broken homes or they come from where they're not sure what their next meal is going to be. It's a lot of different hardships that they face, and there's days that can be very mentally draining. And I often like to show them this to show that you don't have to take money to create something or you don't have to spend all this money to show somebody that you appreciate them," Benoit explained. "Just having this, I think, is keeping them reminded, as well as myself, that just the thought goes such a long way."
Benoit said she was so touched by her former student's thoughtful present that she is now writing a children's book based on the gift and the lasting effect it has had on her, as well as the message she wants others to take away from her viral post.
"I'm going to call it 'The Giving Crayon' to show that it's a crayon but it kept on giving," Benoit said of her upcoming project. "[I plan on] turning the story into more of [an] elaboration to bring more joy, not just for Christmas time, just to show the importance of simple gestures and the importance of giving back and shedding light and hope and positivity."
In the years since she received the crayon, Benoit has had the opportunity to share with her former student how much his gift meant to her.
"I think he didn't even realize the meaning of just that simple thing that he did," she said. "I think it was very important for me to take that time to just even let him know that I do still have it, even if he might not remember it as much because he was a young boy."
"It really shows you that just showing gratitude and taking the time to show that you're thinking about someone in the simplest form is what people really need," she added.