Last year my sister, Mara, who is a second grade teacher at a very impoverished school outside of Denver, had her students write a letter to Santa Claus. She had never done this before, and was expecting typical requests from eight and nine year-olds. The letters were anything but typical- they were heartbreaking. She sent an e-mail to her family and friends with some of the requests, asking if there was any way we could help out these kids.
The letter that touched me the most last year was from a little boy who asked Santa for “socks with no holes in them.” I posted her letter in a blog post, and asked my readers if they could help. The response was overwhelming, and you can read about it here, if you missed it.
Last year, Sergeant Alex from Buckley Air Force Base read about these kids on my blog, and showed up with four other officers with presents for these children. Many readers sent gift cards and care packages- people that had never met these kids or my sister. Family and friends in the area helped as well, with the result of every child in my sister’s class having a Christmas they never expected and will never forget.
This year the entire second grade has written letters, and my sister has decided to try to make sure every child in her school’s second grade receives not only the items they need, like “socks with no holes,” but also a fun toy.
Sgt. Alex, along with other Air Force officers and their families have already offered to help out, but there are 110 children in second grade, in a school that has several homeless kids, and where over 95% of the students qualify for the reduced and free lunch program. Some of the letters are even more desperate than they were last year. Here are some of the requests, as the children wrote them:
“I nide food for my famli beause my dad has a boss woo doesnt want him to work anymor.”
“…a penciles and an eraser because I have none.”
“…two pair of shoos because my are ripet on the botom. I also need a bed because I never had one.”
“……I need some new sock and shoes because mine sock are riped back at home.”
“…I would please like to have some more frute and some glofs because I did not have some before.”
and the request that made me tear up:
“…I don’t want nothing but my sider needs a coat.”
I imagine my own two boys and how they love each other, and when one of them is hurt or upset, it pains the other one. I can only imagine how sad and desperate this child feels to have to watch her sister go without a coat.
Here is the information if you can help, as stated by my sister:
We’ll take anything EXCEPT cash/checks. Gift cards to Wal-Mart would be the most helpful because we could trade them in for gifts and the Wal-Mart here in Commerce City gives us tax-exempt status. We’d also love any chapter books, school supplies, etc. I will take care of making sure every child in the entire 2nd grade will get something new this Christmas.
Please send what you can to:
Alsup Elementary School
c/o Mara Corzine
7101 Birch Street
Commerce City, CO 80022
Again, thank you for caring about these kids. Anything you can send us will be greatly appreciated!! Let’s show these kids that people do care about them and that they matter!!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will respond. I’ll be writing an update when we go shopping for the kids again, and this year I hope to be able to be there the day the kids receive their gifts. It was the highlight of my Christmas last year, and I want to see the look on the little’s girl face when she sees that her “sider” finally has a coat!