Texas 7-year-old's heartbreaking letter to Santa inspires flood of donations

EDINBURG, Texas -- People in the Rio Grande valley are showing their Christmas spirit after a teacher shared a photo of a student asking Santa for food and a blanket for Christmas.

Ruth Espiricueta, a first-grade teacher at Monte Cristo Elementary School in Edinburg, Texas, asked her students this week to write a letter to Santa Claus about something they want and something they need, after a lesson about the difference between the two. When school was dismissed for the day, Espiricueta began reading the letters and was taken aback in particular by one student's note.

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A 7-year-old girl wrote to Santa saying "I have been good this day. This Christmas I would like a ball and a food. I need a blanket."

The next day, Espiricueta asked the student about her letter to Santa. The girl said she wanted a ball, rather than a doll, so both she and her brother could play with the toy. She told the teacher she wanted eggs for food.

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Other students also asked for food, blankets, clothes, and even a stove.

People who saw that photo have now donated more than 600 blankets towards a goal of about 720. Census Bureau statistics show one in five children in Texas live in poverty.

Donations can be made to the school. The address is 4010 N. Doolittle Rd. Edinburg, Texas 78541.

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