Charity, Suburban School Play Santa For Chicago Students

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Belmont-Cragin neighborhood on the Northwest Side has had its share of bad news this week but today, a positive story from only a block away.

Early Tuesday morning, a 15-year old girl was brutally beaten and raped in the 2400 block of North Long Avenue. Today, less than a block away, more than 1,600 students at Hanson Park Elementary School are getting Christmas gifts from lists they sent along with letters to Santa.

“We had a suburban school, in Cary-Grove, that actually fulfilled about 850 of the letters,” 5th grade teacher John Polhill said.

According to Polhill, the students at Hanson Park school are from low-income, hard-working families that make just enough to pay the rent and put food on the table, with not much left for extras.

Today’s gifts, he said, are extras, and will “make Christmas awesome for a lot of these kids.”

Polhill had contacted Direct Effect Charities, which helped make the Christmas wishes come true for the students at Hanson Park Elementary School.

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