Every year, a Las Vegas school runs a program called “Wishmas” so staffers and teachers can help fulfill holiday wishes for students.
“We have a lot of kids who are in the foster system, we have a lot of kids who are living in poverty,” Cheri Guy, an English teacher at Desert Pines High School, told Today. “These kids are facing enormous stress outside of the classroom.”
The kids write down a gift they’d like to open on Christmas morning — and why it would mean a lot to them to receive it. The faculty and staff compile those wishes, then work together to grant as many of them as possible. This year was Guy’s first at the school, and when she saw the list of wishes, it broke her heart. So she made a TikTok video about it, and it went viral.
In the video, Guy sobbed as she read some of the students’ wishes out loud for the camera.
They included a bag of Takis “so I won’t feel hungry” and a pair of slippers “to protect me from the cold.” In her video, Guy asked her viewers for help. The school received 900 wishes this year — far more than the teachers and staff could grant alone.
“Maybe spread this around,” she said. “Maybe we could do something to try to make some of these things happen. Because there’s no way — even if all the teachers, if we all picked one student, we couldn’t cover everything. There’s so many students and they don’t want a lot.”
The internet did its thing. Comments poured in. Guy started an Amazon wishlist with the kids’ wishes, and strangers from all around the country started purchasing items and sending them. Guy now has to make daily trips to the post office to pick up all the packages so they won’t pile up and overwhelm the workers there.
“One of the most incredible things about Wishmas is these kids are realizing that they are loved — and not just by the staff at school, but by strangers around the country (who) care about them and believe in them,” she said.
If you want to help fulfill the remaining Wishmas wishes, Guy’s Amazon wishlist can be found here.