Alief ISD high school students fulfill elementary students' Christmas wish lists

By Cathy Hernandez - Reporter

HOUSTON - Alief Independent School District elementary school students, including hurricane survivors, received a Christmas surprise more than two weeks before Dec. 25.

Third-grader Tristin White and 100 of his classmates from Holmquist Elementary School ripped open their gifts.

"What do you think about all these toys?” asked KPRC Channel 2 reporter Cathy Hernandez.

"I like them,” Tristin said.

The gifts were from Alief Taylor High School students.

“They chipped in their money and then got a wish list of a kid in need here in Alief from one of our local elementary schools,” said teacher Andrea Lotsu.

Tristin, who lives in Greenpoint, lost many belongings in Hurricane Harvey, but on Thursday, it didn’t matter.

“It's honestly the greatest feeling ever. It just fills your heart. I want to cry right now. It's amazing,” said student Yasmin El Metioui, who donated to Tristin.

Down the hallway, it was also amazing for Te'Mauri Issac, who is from the British Virgin Islands.

"What is it?” asked Hernandez.

“A remote control helicopter,” said Te'Mauri.

"How do you feel getting it?” asked Hernandez.

“Happy,” he said.

Te'Mauri, who is in third grade, lost his home in Hurricanes Irma and Maria. His family was forced to relocate to Houston.

In another classroom, second-grader Valentina was smiling from ear to ear while she unwrapped her presents. The Puerto Rico native moved to Alief after her home was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

"I'm happy,” said Valentina.

“What did you get?” asked Hernandez.

“Toys,” said Valentina.

Valentina even had an extra special opportunity to conduct the school's 35-member orchestra.

“It brings joy to my heart to see her happy,” said teacher Lester Lopez. “It's all about her right now."

High school students made sure that, despite the hardships, the holidays were bright for the young students.

Two more high schools are set to take part in the Christmas surprise next year, so they'll be able to help more students.

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