Santa delivers on letter from Wheaton girl

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Rubi Castro, middle, a second-grader at Wheaton Elementary, takes off on a sprint while racing her fellow classmates across the playground yard at Wheaton Elementary School. Castro's family received an anonymous gift after she wrote a letter to Santa Claus asking him to help her parents with rent and to get her brother some toy cars. Kyle Troutman

Letter published in Cassville Democrat answered with donation to family

Santa Claus works hard to fill every request of every child on Christmas. Sometimes, Jolly Ole Saint Nick goes above and beyond in spreading Christmas cheer.

Such was the case for a Wheaton family after second-grader Rubi Castro broke from the mold and requested something a little different from Santa in her letter to him published by the Cassville Democrat.

"I really don't deserve to get presents

this year because I want to help my mym Rosa and My dad Ricky get money for the rent," Castro wrote. "But, what do I really want this year? More time with my mom for Christmas! Can you get my little brother something if you can please get him a toy car for Christmas because he loves toy cars."

The letter struck the heartstrings of a group of donors, who wished to remain anonymous and identified themselves as "Santa's Angels."

"I gathered money from various people because the girls asked for money to help her parents pay rent," an organizer said. "I gathered up donations from about 10 people and we raised $157. We put that in a box with some candy canes, six matchbox cars for [Castro's] brother and a stuffed animal [for Castro]."

Eileen Ford, principal of Wheaton Elementary School, said such acts are not uncommon in Wheaton.

"This shows how much people really care about each other in the community," she said. "They pay attention to one another and the community and help people meet their needs when they are struggling. It's a testament to small schools, and we've had a lot of this happen that people don't know about. People will give money or presents when they know there's a child or a family in need."

The donor, who claimed to have read every one of the Santa letters, said Castro's stuck out because of her requests.

"It was so remarkably different that it touched us," the donor said. "I read all the letters that day, while watching 'A Christmas Story,' because I love reading letters from kids, and hers really jumped out. It was outstanding to see a child with such an understanding of the real meaning of Christmas.

"She did not ask for a single thing for herself, and she only asked for things for others. We put a note in the box saying how nice her letter was and signed it, Santa's Angels."

Ford said she received a letter from the Castro family on the day after the gift was given, and the letter showed just how appreciative the family was for the donation.

"The family hadn't read Rubi's letter until they got the gift, and then they wrote a letter to us saying the donation made a world of difference," Ford said. "I think they were shocked a little bit. They signed the letter, 'Much love from our family to yours,' so it was really sweet."

The donor said it was also nice to be able to give something to an unselfish young girl.

"She was most certainly deserving of that Christmas present," the donor said. "I hope that money puts at least a dent in one month's rent."

Ford said Castro, one of four children in her family, has been at Wheaton Elementary since she was old enough to go to school.

"It's a really good family that works hard and takes great care of their children," Ford said. "And it's a common thing for Rubi to be thinking of others ahead of herself. She's very kind and unselfish, even as a second-grader. I'm not surprised a bit that's what she asked for, but even for Rubi, it was very heartwarming to see a child that understands what's important. It's just really neat when these things happen."

The Castro family could not be reached directly for comment, but in a letter to the school, the family said they would like to thank everyone involved in giving the gift.

"I have no idea how I could ever thank you for all this," the letter read. "The days at work have been slow and we haven't been working well the last few weeks, so having that gift from all of you really is much help to us. There are not enough words to thank you all for everything."

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