Sports Spotlight: University Soccer Team Saves Christmas

(December 22, 2013) The students at South Waco Elementary have waited for this day all year long.

The answer to their Christmas letters is about to walk through those doors.

Disguised as University High School soccer players Santa's helpers have come to spread some Christmas spirit.

For most of these kids, it's been a long time since they've had a visitor from the North Pole.

"Santa Claus only came to my house one time," said South Waco student Delilah Jones

But 9-year-old Delilah Jones continues to hang her stocking with care in hope that one day he'll be there.

Although few gifts in Santa's bag are better than her crayons or her cookbook.

"We all have our secret ingredients and mine is hot sauce and black pepper," Jones said.

Stronger than her recipes is Delilah's belief in the power of Christmas.

"It's my favorite holiday of the year," she said

Which is why, even though she really wants a toy monkey, she asked for something else.

"I would buy some dishwashing liquid for my granny and some washing detergent, so she can have soap to wash our clothes," her letter read.

"How many kids do you know that want soap for Christmas," Chapman said.

Unfortunately, University soccer coach Mike Chapman knows too many.

For the past four years, the Trojans' make-a-wish program has received thousands of letters just like Delilah's.

"It has a picture of the kid underneath bridge and a sad face because he doesn't want to once again end up homeless and have to end up living under the bridge," Chapman said.

"That's not what a kid should be asking for at all," said University senior Leslie Lugo.

"When you think of an elementary school kid, thinking about having to live under a bridge and be homeless, that's very hard," Chapman said.

Being a kid on Christmas should be easy.

"We want to try to give him one day, just one day of happiness," Chapman said.

"I want to be a person they can remember, knowing that I changed something," Lugo said.

Change is what brought them to South Waco Elementary.

To give these kids just what they asked for and a little something for themselves.

But mainly to deliver a message of hope.

"That's what it's all about," Chapman said. "Giving them hope that they can overcome all of this and just be a kid."

You don't need a sleigh to deliver a gift like that.


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