Fremont Elementary students give Santa some help

When children are taken from abusive homes -- sometimes in the middle of the night without even a change of clothing -- Santa can have a hard time tracking them down.

Fortunately, his elves at Fremont Elementary School are filling in the gaps.

"It's great to give gifts to people," said Joshua Peacock, 10. "Some people don't get presents and it's kind of sad. I want them to have a great Christmas."

For the past seven years, each classroom at Fremont has adopted a child who is seeking refuge at the shelter provided through Advocates to End to Domestic Violence.

"They've been so generous to us every year," said Lisa Lee, advocates director. "It really makes a difference and really fills a void."

Chris Rogers, 9, was a part of a team of students who read a story to their peers, encouraging them to donate.

"I think it's important because they get to help out with other people and feel good about themselves," Chris said. "They really feel like they helped out."

Ten-year-old Anna Martinez helped collect the gifts once students brought them in. She said she didn't mind the extra responsibility.

"I think it's great because they get presents," she said. "They're getting lots of presents from people they don't even know. I'm glad we did it. Everybody should have a good Christmas."

The students adopted 30 children this year and the array of gifts were laid out under the school's Christmas tree Friday.

Counselor Nanette Oleson said it is a meaningful project not only for the students who receive the gifts but for the students who donate as well.

"I think there are a lot of people who want their children to have a feeling beyond the materialism of Christmas," she said. "It's an opportunity for families to get involved in the spirit of Christmas and teach their children about giving."


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