When Ruth Espiricueta, a first-grade teacher at Monte Cristo Elementary in Edinburg, TX, asked her students to write letters to Santa, she was expecting your run-of-the-mill lists of toys, and for the most part, that's what she got. Then she read Crystal Pachecho's letter, and toys definitely weren't the first thing on the little girl's mind. The 7-year-old asked Santa for three things: a blanket, food, and a ball. (And the real kicker? The ball isn't even for her; it was for her little brother.) Feeling heartbroken for Crystal, Ruth posted the emotional letter to Facebook, and sure enough, support started pouring in.
The full letter read: "Dear Santa Claus, I have [been] good this day. This Christmas, I would like a ball and food. And I need a blanket." If that doesn't pull at your heartstrings, then we don't know what will.
Ruth explained that she definitely didn't expect that type of response from her students and that she wanted to help Crystal and her family. "It all started with a discussion about our needs and wants," Ruth said in an interview with CNN. "We talked about needs and what we wanted to survive. After the kids were gone for the day, I sat down to read the letters." The teacher mentioned she had absolutely no idea Crystal's family was struggling to afford basic amenities, saying, "It just really broke my heart. She just always seems so happy."
In an effort to help Crystal's family, the school principal started a blanket drive, and it's safe to say the local families in need will definitely be warm this year. So far, about 900 blankets have been donated, with shipments coming from as far as Germany and New Zealand, and there's no sign the packages will stop coming anytime soon.