Student council members and fifth-graders at Cavazos Elementary School begin to stuff boxes with the toys they helped collect for students in need across the Killeen Independent School District. Killeen ISD schools are on Christmas break until Jan. 6.

NOLANVILLE — Students and staff at Cavazos Elementary School covered the school stage last week with donated toys to make Christmas more special for area children.

The school directed its annual giving this year to the Killeen Independent School District Homeless Awareness and Response Program.

By the beginning of December, the district’s HARP program was serving 1,013 homeless students throughout the school district based on federal definitions.

The Cavazos drive collected about 138 new toys.

“We did this for kids who are less fortunate,” said fifth-grader Imanol Murguia and treasurer of the Cavazos Student Council.

The student council, along with teacher Dennis Marler’s fifth-grade class, helped direct the toy collection.

“Everyone deserves a gift for Christmas,” Murguia said. “All should have a good Christmas.”

In past years, fifth grade classes at the school conducted toy drives for the Killeen Santa Pal effort.

Fifth-grader Rileigh Mullins, president of the Cavazos Student Council, said group members made and hung posters around the school to draw attention to the drive.

“I think it’s good because the less fortunate deserve to have presents,” she said. “What if we didn’t have anything for Christmas?”

Student Council advisers delivered the toys to a site for distribution.

“It would be sad to not have something under the tree,” said fifth-grader Adriana McIntosh. “I think it’s good that we’re helping.”

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