CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Christmas came a little early for students at Crockett Elementary School. All 387 students were able to open a gift today thanks to the Angel Tree Program.
Students were gathered at the school this morning for the special day. Assistant principal Sara Ajisafe said the students have been excited for weeks, asking everyday what day the "presents day" was taking place.
Each student was gifted a new shirt and a pair of pants and shoes. Depending on the sponsor, other items were also included in the gift bag. Crockett teachers and staff began reaching out to the community, and friends, several weeks ago to serve as sponsors. In all, the school was able to raise close to $2,000.
Some of the big sponsors include Volkswagen, who donated $800, and Pulmonary Associates, who donated $500.
The Moody High School baseball team also helped out by donating $140 from fundraisers.
And teachers' families, friends and former colleagues answered the call. A former teacher sponsored 10 kids this year. The teachers and staff then took time to go shopping for all of the items.
"For myself, it's so rewarding," said Ajisafe. "Yes, it was a lot of work to get everybody assigned and sponsored, but when they come through and they get their bag, they're so excited and honestly, for us, for all the teachers and staff, so rewarding because some of the students don't have anything to open. And so we wanted to make sure we can give them a little piece of that experience."
This is the second year for that the Angel Tree program has provided a gift for every student. In years past, Ajisafe says the program would only cover students who needed it the most. She said last year, they made it a goal to get a gift for everyone.
"I actually feel really happy for this because the kids that really don't get gifts a lot, we can all get gifts and share with each other," said 4th grader Jaylah Ramirez.
"And we can feel that holiday cheer that's within us and in us. That's mainly what it's about.It's not always about presents. It's about what you feel and that's what it's about.