A student’s heartbreaking request to Santa has people in her community coming together to give her family the support they need.

Ruth Espiricueta is a first grade teacher at Monte Cristo Elementary School in Edinburg, Texas. Last week, she asked her students to write a letter to Santa with their wishes for the holidays, ABC News reports.

Her heart broke when she read what 7-year-old Crystal Pacheco wrote.

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“Dear Santa Claus,” Crystal’s letter read, “I have [been] good this day. This Christmas I would like a ball and food. I need a [blanket].”

“When she asked for a blanket, it just broke my heart, and it made me realize that some of these kids don’t have anything to stay warm at night,” Espiricueta told KRGV. “Or they sleep on the floor.”

She never suspected things were so tough at Crystal’s home.

“I had no idea she was going through hard times, being that she is always at school with a big smile,” Espiricueta said of her student. “Her act of unselfishness made me realize that I needed to share this with others.”

Espiricueta posted the letter to Facebook, and word soon spread. People stared showing up to the school with donations in hand. The school collected so many blankets, in fact, that they organized a blanket drive.

Crystal’s mother told KRGV that her daughter was thinking of her family when she made the heartbreaking request.

“She wrote the card thinking about her brother. She said she wanted the ball to play with him, food to have food at the house and a blanket because the house is too cold,” mom Maria Isabel Cortez explained.

Crystal thanked Santa for giving her the gifts she needed this Christmas.

The school has so far collected more than 600 blankets to help students in need.

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