PHARR – Wearing Santa hats and bright smiles, PSJA North Early College High School students spent their morning giving Christmas cheer by distributing 120 presents to students from Raul Longoria Elementary and Daniel Ramirez Elementary. The gifts were distributed Thursday, Dec. 21, during the last day of school festivities.

Inspired by the need to give back this holiday season, PSJA North ECHS AP & Dual Credit Math teacher Marcia Ziegler, encouraged students to donate toys this Christmas. Before long, interest spread throughout the campus and student members from more than 14 organizations including the orchestra, choir, football, basketball, cheerleading, Student Council and National Honor Society groups, to name a few, joined the efforts.

"It's important for our students to pay it forward," shared Ziegler. "We live in an area that has a lot of need, so it's great that they got to experience giving back to their community."

In addition to donating toys, many students and staff members volunteered their time to help wrap gifts. According to Ziegler any action, whether big or small, counts.

"When I was younger, I was one of these kids getting presents," shared PSJA North Senior Julisa Juarez, one of the students assisting with the efforts. "Even if it was a small gift, at the time it meant a lot to me, and I still remember it to this day."

Daniel Ramirez Elementary Counselor Jessica Salinas, is grateful for this unexpected surprise.

"Our students were so excited. It was something that they definitely did not expect," said Salinas. "Thank you to everyone at PSJA North who played a role in this generous gesture."