Facebook’s Returning the Favor segment surprises Richmond music teacher

Former DeJean Middle School music director Tim Wilson’s inspirational story of giving to his students has become a national sensation — leading to yet another round of new musical instruments for the underserved Richmond school.

On Monday, Facebook published a segment from its Returning the Favor series where host Mike Rowe visited DeJean Middle School last Spring in order to tell Wilson’s story and to surprise him by donating instruments to his school.

The segment has already been seen more than 1 million times on Facebook and has amassed nearly 10,000 shares.

And for good reason. As we reported earlier this year, Wilson played trumpet for more than two decades for the San Francisco Opera until complications from glaucoma forced his retirement. He turned his misfortune into the meaningful pursuit of providing underserved youth with access to the best possible music instruction. He became music director and math teacher at DeJean, where he reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money on instruments, equipment, assistant instructor salaries, a band camp and other items for the school program.

Due to health reasons, Wilson retired at the end of last year, but not before being surprised by the Returning the Favor segment. And now his story has gone viral.