School Charges Kids $5 To Meet Santa But Many Couldn't Afford It, So One Mom Stepped In — 'I Was That Kid Once'

"I wanted them to feel the magic of Christmas."

school, santa, fundraiser, money shulers / Shutterstock

A group of elementary school students were thrilled after being told that Santa would visit their classroom for the holiday season. However, many of the students’ happiness quickly diminished when they realized they would have to offer a cash payment to be able to see him. 

The school charged students $5 each to meet Santa, but many could not afford it. 

In a TikTok video that has garnered over 1.5 million views, Madison Contreras revealed that her daughter is in third grade and that her school was hosting a holiday fundraiser. Students could participate in the fundraiser by paying $5 each to meet Santa Claus.


However, on this particular day, Contreras's daughter forgot to bring money. As the mother was driving up to the school to drop off cash for her daughter, her mind wandered to all of the kids who likely wouldn’t be able to ask their parents the same thing. 

“We live in an underprivileged area,” Contreras explained. “And I started thinking about all of the kids who maybe didn’t even ask their parents for money.” 



RELATED: Grandpa Surprising His 11 Grandkids With Matching ‘Corny’ Christmas Gifts Caused One Woman To Have An Emotional Breakdown


Many families are saving every penny they can, especially during the holiday season. Some of them cannot afford even $5 to send with their kids to school. 

“I called the teacher and when she said [to the students] that it was $5 [to meet Santa] a lot of them just stopped being excited,” Contreras claimed, her voice thick with emotion. 

Although Contreras admitted that she too was trying to save money, her heart broke for all of her daughter’s classmates who were unable to afford to meet Santa. She decided that all of them deserved the opportunity, despite their financial situations. 

The generous mother paid for each student in her daughter’s class to meet Santa.

“I just pulled out a bunch of cash and took it to the school,” Contreras said.


She resonated all too well with the children who couldn’t ask their parents for money to meet Santa. “I was that kid that didn’t even want to ask [for money],” the tearful mother shared. “I wanted them to feel the magic of Christmas, even if it was just $5.” 

She added that Christmas is all about paying it forward and giving back to your community members. 

RELATED: Teachers Praise A Mom's $85 'Teacher Gift' Idea But Other Parents Lash Out At Her

Contreras shared a very joyful update in a follow-up video.

When her daughter came home after the event, Contreras apologized for forgetting to send her with money — and her daughter's response was quite a surprise.


“Oh, don't worry about it, Mom,” her daughter said. “Santa's helper came and brought enough money for all the kids.”



Not only was every kid in her daughter’s class able to see Santa free of charge, but everyone in the entire school.

“I don't know if other teachers chipped in, or other parents, or the principal. I have no idea,” Contreras shared. “But [my daughter] said that all the kids got to participate in the event, so, happy ending.”


“By this time next year, I am going to work hard to make sure that this event does not take place again unless it is free for all kids,” she added

The holidays are intended to be a time of giving and spending time with your loved ones and community members. Money is already tight for most families as it is, and charging people for popular holiday encounters and excluding families who cannot afford the expense is not what Christmas is about. 

No child should ever have to miss out on meeting Santa Claus because they do not have the funds to do so. This mom agreed and showed just how far a kind gesture can go, especially during the holiday season. 


RELATED: Former Angel Tree Kid Remembers Her ‘Best Christmas Ever’ When Santa Outdid Himself — And Her Parents Were So Happy For Her

Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.