Christmas comes early to school in San Francisco's Tenderloin

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Friday was an early Christmas for students at a school in San Francisco's Tenderloin District. Santa came with toys for the entire school. The toys were donated by a local restaurant owner who was deeply moved by the stories of the children. You might call him St. Nick.

Santa came early to City Academy, a Christian school in San Francisco. He brought presents for all 120 students from kindergarten to the eighth grade.

The trip by Santa was amazing and a surprise to these children of the Tenderloin. For most, the school is a refuge from the struggles of life in a district coping with drugs and crime.

This was Santa's third visit to San Francisco City Academy.

Two years ago, just before Christmas, we aired a story about heartbreaking journals that students wrote about the challenges in their young lives.

READ MORE: Six ways you can give back this holiday season

Gripping entries like: "My mom and dad were on drugs. When I was little I was homeless, I was poor."

And another that reads: "Living without my dad is like living without a heart. No emotions come through me without him."

The gifts were donated by Nick Bovis, owner of Lefty O'Doul's. He was deeply touched by our story.

WATCH VIDEO: Journals show SF students' despair, hope

"If we can make them smile today, one day, we did our job," he said.

There were not only smiles, but also big hugs on Friday.

Christian Huang runs the school. He says these toys are a blessing.

"I know some parents will take the toys that we give and save them for Christmas Day and then wrap them," he said.
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