The Emotional Letter A First-Grader Wrote Santa Asking For Food And A Blanket For Christmas

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Santa Letter
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She also wanted a ball so she could play with her older brother.

When asked to write a letter to Santa Claus, most of Ruth Espiricueta's first-grade students asked for a new toy. But Crystal Pacheco asked for some things that most of us take for granted. 

"I have [been] good this day," the 7-year-old wrote. "This Christmas I would like a ball and a food. I need a [blanket]."

The assignment was for the students to write a letter about something they wanted and something they needed, after having a lesson about the difference between the two. Espiricueta said while reading the letters after class was dismissed, she was taken aback by Pacheco's. 

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"I never expected for students to ask for things we usually take for granted," Espiricueta told ABC News. "I was heartbroken because no one should ever go hungry or be cold on winter nights."

The following day, the teacher asked the young girl about her letter. She told Espiricueta that she wanted a ball instead of a doll so both she and her brother could play with it. She wanted eggs for food. 

"I had no idea she was going through hard times being that she is always at school with a big smile," Espiricueta said. "Her act of unselfishness made me realize that I needed to share this with others."

Sadly, she wasn't alone. The teacher said there were other students who included basic necessities in their letter to Santa such as food, towels, beds, and shoes. Espiricueta teaches at Monte Cristo Elementary School in Texas, a state where more than one in five children lives in poverty. 

When the teacher shared Pacheco's letter on Facebook, people immediately jumped in to help. The principal of their school started a donation drive that's collected over 600 blankets. 

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Pacheco's mother, Maria Isabel Cortez, said her daughter was thinking about much more than just herself when she wrote that letter. 

"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," she told KRGV. 

"She is happy her friends will also be receiving a blanket to stay warm," Espiricueta said.

And Crystal Pacheco had a special message for Santa. 

Thank you for the presents," she said. 

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).