Local high school students make Christmas wishes come true
Members of a local high school soccer team and Junior ROTC group have started the weeklong process of granting the Christmas wishes of hundreds of local children.
Friday morning the University High School Junior ROTC and the University High School soccer team showed up at Bells Hill Elementary school in Waco to pass out gifts to students who wrote letters about their Christmas wishes, which were later fulfilled by families and individuals across Central Texas.
The children were chosen as part of the "Make a Wish Come True" program led by the older University students.
"It's special because today we're going to be able to fulfill a lot of kids’ Christmases," said head soccer coach and organizer Mike Chapman.
"Just to be able to see the smile on their faces when we call them up here in a minute will be special."
This is the 10th year for the program, which started by granting just 24 wishes.
This year the group hopes to fulfill more than 300.
The children are chosen based on need, but despite not having much themselves Chapman says they often ask for things for others.
"I do not want anything for me for Christmas,” one child wrote.
All I want for Christmas is for my little brother and sister to have a blanket and jacket. It is so cold at night and we do not have heat. A blanket will keep my little brother and sister warm at night. Also, they do not have a warm jacket and they need a warm jacket to wear to school."
The children called up one-by-one Friday to receive their wrapped presents from the soccer team and JRTOC students, which included toys, a bike, gift cards, blankets, and even a case of water.
Many of the University High School students "adopted" children themselves, purchasing the gifts they gave and telling the children it was because they remember being in the same position when they were younger.
"I think my favorite part was opening presents," a kindergartner named Natalie said, beaming.
"What I was hoping for for Christmas was just like a little toy."
One boy who came on stage to accept his gifts said the only thing he wished for was a donation to a children's hospital.
Deliveries will made Monday to Alta Vista Elementary School.
On Tuesday the soccer team and JROTC will deliver gifts to University High School.
On Wednesday they’ll be at South Waco Elementary School and on Thursday at Kendrick Elementary School and Cesar Chavez Middle School.