The spirit of giving is growing by the day at Colt Elementary in Delta Township, thanks to students from Maryland who heard about Michigan, its economic woes and the auto crisis, and wanted to bring joy through generosity.
"They collected games and toys and stuffed animals and sent them here to Colt, because they'd heard things weren't very good in Michigan and they wanted to help the kids in Michigan have a happy holidays," said Colt Elementary School Principal Peggy Baldwin.
Now they're bagging and bundling 500 lbs. and eight cartons bursting at the seams with gifts, Baldwin says parents had already been contacting school officials about help for the holidays and now that help is here.
"I think we were a little stunned at the generosity of just the volume," Baldwin said.
" I kind of sent out a memo to staff asking, 'hey, have you heard of anybody that's got troubles right now, anybody that you think could use some help,' about 50 percent of the parents we asked said, 'yes, we'd be so grateful for help,'" said Colt Social Worker, Kristen Hood.
School officials say the donated toys and clothes under the tree will make it an especially merry Christmas for parents impacted by the auto industry.
"We have families who have been employed by the auto industry for years, and the men and women in those families are being laid off or if they are not being laid off they are certainly worried about what's going to happen, and are they able to provide for their families," Baldwin said.
Nearly 20 families and 40 children will benefit from the gracious gifts and the kids don't even know it, a secret Santa stepping in to fill the need.
"It's enough to put under the tree on Christmas morning and make the families feel that they've been able to do right by their children," Hood said.
Bringing holiday cheer when many parents fear what the future may hold.