Girl's Letter to Santa Prompts an Avalanche of Blankets and Goodwill

letter to Santa CROP. ABC 7/YouTube

When writing to Santa, most little kids don't have very simple requests. They usually involve elaborate and expensive toys.

So when Ruth Espiricueta asked her first-grade class to write letters to Santa, she was surprised when she read the short, heartfelt note written by 7-year-old Crystal Pacheco.

Crystal only asked for a ball, food and a blanket.

"It just really broke my heart," Espiricueta told CNN. She said she was surprised that Crystal and her family had such basic needs. "She's always so happy."

Espiricueta was so touched by Crystal's letter that she shared it on her Facebook page.

"This makes me very sad. When your students ask for food, blankets, or a bed instead of toys," she posted. "As a teacher it breaks my heart when I hear them ask for things that we sometimes take for granted. Hopefully I will be able to fulfill at least one of their Christmas wishes."

The teacher's post began to spread on social media, and blankets started to arrive at the school.

Crystal goes to Monte Cristo Elementary in Edinburg, Texas, about 30 miles north of the Mexico border. There are 724 students in the school and most of the students live in poverty.

Just a few days before Christmas, more than 900 blankets from across the county (and even the world) were stacked up in boxes at Monte Cristo. The blankets came from as far away as Italy, New Zealand, Germany and South Korea. The school now has more than enough for each student, as well as for other family members in need.

"For me, it reaffirms that community service and what we do on a daily basis for our students, and just that there's still goodness in the world," the school's principal, Diana Cervantes-Smith, said in a video the district shared on Facebook.