I can't help but roll my eyes whenever I express that I want a better life for myself and someone tries to placate me by telling me that other people have it way, way worse than I do. But there's a clear difference between using that argument to justify why you settled for less than a top shelf life, and because you really care about the less fortunate.
So if I want to be able to have enough money to own my own apartment and buy a new, modest car in cash outright, I don't think I'm asking for that much, and I don't need to hear about how there are people starving who'd love to have a fraction of what I have.
But if you're telling me about kids who are starving, because you actually want to help them and spread awareness of their plight, then you've got my attention. Which is exactly what a community did for this seven-year-old at Monte Cristo Elementary in Edinburg, Texas who wrote a letter to Santa Clause.
In the letter, the student doesn't ask for video games, or a smartphone or a tablet or any high priced toys or a pair of $120 sneakers. All she wanted was some food, a blanket, and a ball so she could gift it to her younger brother.
First grade teacher Ruth Espiricueta shared a snapshot of the letter online, with the following message:
This makes me very sad. When your students ask for food, blankets, or a bed instead of toys😔
As a teacher it breaks my heart when I hear them ask for things that we sometimes take for granted.
Hopefully I will be able to fulfill at least one of their Christmas wishes
News of the student's plea made its rounds on social media, where people immediately contacted Espiricueta asking how they could help.
The school helped facilitate donations to the little girl, who was identified as Crystal. Soon, gifts and necessities started rolling in for not only for the family, but others in need at the school's community.
Local News outlet KRGV covered the story, and interviewed Espiricueta about the blanket drive that was held at the school in response to the letter:
"When she asked for a blanket it just broke my heart and it made me realize that some of these kids don't have anything to stay warm at night. Or they sleep on the floor."
As for her mother, Maria Isabel Cortez, she was floored by her daughter's consideration of others while penning the letter to Santa:
"She wrote the card thinking about her brother, she said she wanted the ball to play with him, food to have food at the house and a blanket because the house is too cold."
The school has almost hit its goal of 724 blankets, and has declined to set up a GoFundMe. Espiricueta encouraged families to send any potential donations and money to the school directly. Additional blankets plan to be distributed to other needy families in the community.
To think that this community movement was all started by a thoughtful girl in need is incredible. Kids are the best.