HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Pajama day at Morris Elementary School was interrupted by a stream of guests from across school district lines.
'We just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you guys,' said Anthony Graham as he addressed a room full of first graders. Graham is a teacher at Discovery Middle in Madison.
He brought a group of students, and a big guy in red with a big white beard, to share the Christmas spirit to Morris. Graham says that a project brought him to the school some time ago.
"I saw that these kids needed so much more, so I just took it upon myself to do that," said Graham. He got some of his students involved, alongside Readying Urself for the Future (RUFF), a regional empowerment group for young men.
"I'm just thrilled that other children can appreciate and give to us and make our children so much happier," said Morris principal Patty Boyd.
Santa Claus walked the halls of Morris, popping into classrooms and handing out toys.
"One hundred percent of this comes from the students at Discovery Middle School," said Graham. "They raised about $750."
The students also donated the Barbie dolls, the toy cars, and candy that went along with each Morris student's new stuffed animal. According the Graham, the Discovery students got everything they needed in less than a week.
"It's exciting to see the smiling faces of our own children," said Principal Boyd.
Santa and his little helpers brought gifts to every first grade class. The Madison students say they based the donated toys on what they wanted when they were in the first grade.
"When I was a little kid, I loved matchbox cars," said sixth grader, and RUFF member Lucas Williams. "My younger sister loves Barbie dolls. So I'm thinking it's the same feeling they have when they get the things."
"I feel happy for them because I know they will now be happy for Christmas," said seventh grader Jonathan Purlee. "But I also feel happy for myself knowing that I did something well for the community."
RUFF is in 16 schools across northern Alabama and they hope to involve a group at Morris Elementary with some of their older students.