South Texas first grader asks Santa for food, blankets for Christmas in heartbreaking letter

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

EDINBURG, Texas - A first grader's heartbreaking letter to Santa has prompted the community to donate blankets, money, food and other items to Monte Cristo Elementary this holiday season.

On Wednesday, Ruth Espiricueta posted a photo of her student Crystal's letter to Santa that said, "I have been good this day. This Christmas I would like a ball and food. I need a blanket."

Espiricueta captioned the photo, "When your students ask for food, blankets, or a bed instead of toys. As a teacher it breaks my heart when I hear them ask for things that we sometimes take for granted. 
Hopefully I will be able to fulfill at least one of their Christmas wishes."

Crystal's mother Maria Isabel Cortez told our ABC affiliate in Weslaco that her daughter wrote her Christmas list with her brother in mind.

"She said she wanted the ball to play with him, food to have food at the house and a blanket because the house is too cold," Cortez said.

Espiricueta said that the letter broke her heart.

"It made me realize that some of these kids don't have anything to stay warm at night, or they sleep on the floor," Espiricueta said.

As word of little Crystal's letter to Santa spread, the community began bringing in blanket donations to the school.

The Edinburg teacher has been able to set up at least two donation drives -- one for toys and the other for blankets and money. Now, everyone at Crystal's school will get a blanket for Christmas.

"Unfortunately, there are other students that as part of their needs they included food, towels, blankets, pillows, bed, clothes, shoes and a stove," the teacher told ABC News. "Some of my students were not even excited about Christmas because they know that their parents can not afford to buy a Christmas tree or gifts for them."

Any donations can be sent to Monte Cristo Elementary at 4010 North Doolittle Road in Edinburg, Texas, 78541.

Espiricueta said the school is accepting donations including food, small toys, sweaters or pajamas.

"Some students didn't even know what pajamas look like,"  Espiricueta told someone who was interested in donating. "Our babies are grateful for any donations made."

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