Waco: ‘Make a Wish Come True’ program will serve 240 students

Published: Nov. 30, 2018 at 7:02 PM CST
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The “Make a Wish Come True” program at Waco’s University High school will serve a record 240 students this Christmas.

The program, which is in its 10th year, is run by the school's Junior ROTC program and soccer teams and is headed up by coach Mike Chapman and First Sgt. Leonard Montelongo.

Students from University High School, and its five feeder schools, Cesar Chavez Middle School, Alta Vista Elementary School, Bells Hill Elementary School, South Waco Elementary School and Kendrick Elementary School filled out short essays in response to the question, "What would you do with 100 dollars."

Montelongo says some of the responses are touching.

"Melts my heart…there are many times when I have cried,"

"I would say over 95 percent of the essays that we get, they're not asking for anything for themselves they're asking for someone in their immediate family," he said.

Forty essays are selected from each school and then members of the program's leadership team set out to find people to sponsor each child, either by donating $100 or by purchasing the items listed in the essays.

“You can donate a hundred dollars, or get the essay list of the child and purchase the items from their list,” Chapman said.

“Many times people pay a lot more than a hundred dollars to just to meet the needs of the child," he said.

Ximena Reynoso of the JROTC program and soccer team Captain Jesus Nunez, both seniors, have participated in the program for most of their time in high school.

"It gives me an opportunity to feel closer to those kids and to be able to bring them happiness it makes me happy as well," Reynoso said.

Nunez says reading the essays shows just what a struggle many children are having at home.

"It's a struggle in their family, we see they can't provide much."

One of the students whose essays were selected this year wrote, "If I had $100 I would give it all to my grandmother for all the hard things she has gone through."

Another wrote, "If I had $100 for Christmas I would buy my mom a sweater shirt pants and gloves."

A third grader wrote, “I would buy a new blanket for my sis cause at night she has nothing." writes one third grader.

Another student wrote, "I'd buy some shoes for my sister and brother so they would not get sick."

To sponsor a student in the Make a Wish Come true program, send an email to



The due date to sponsor a child is Dec. 14.

Gifts should be taken to University High School by that date.

The gifts will be presented to the children during the last week of school before Christmas break.