In the spirit of holiday giving, Susan Boyd, a first-grade teacher at Kyrene de la Sierra Elementary School, and her class buy toys to be donated to the less fortunate.

Boyd has been doing this charitable event for the past 10 years, and feels it’s a way for her students to experience the true meaning of giving to others in need, and helps kids understand what the holidays are about.

In past years, they were able to donate about 120 toys.

However, her students don’t just go home and ask their parents for money to buy the gifts.

For about two to three weeks, Boyd had her students participate in daily-household chores, to earn the money, and were given “chore charts” to fill out different responsibilities they completed around their house.

“We talk a lot about the pillars of character with responsibility, respect and caring… you can talk about those pillars, but I think for kids to do things… that really helps them understand,” Boyd said. “I get emails from parents saying this is a great idea, and the kids get excited about the chores because they’re going to get to do something for someone else.”

Parents were also encouraged to talk to their child about possible chores that could be completed, and each chore completed was logged on the worksheet, along with the amount of money earned.

The amount typically earned ranged from $6 to $8, but some students brought in more.

Boyd also partnered with fellow fifth-grade teacher Rhonda Wainwright and her class in the charitable giving.

After all the money was accounted for, Boyd and her class took a mile-long walk to the nearest Walgreens, 1315 E. Chandler Blvd., Wednesday morning to purchase the toys, singing different holiday jingles.

“It’s the only place that we can walk to and buy things,” Boyd said.

Since Boyd has done this for many of years, she has partnered with the Walgreens’ staff, so the students were able to crowd the store and purchase the toys they feel will brighten up a child’s Christmas.

Due to a buy-one, get-one free deal Walgreens offers, students were able to pick out an additional toy to be donated.

The next morning, each student was able to wrap their gift in any way they pleased, and the toys were taken to Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Ahwatukee to be donated to Frank Elementary School in Guadalupe.

Boyd chose to donate the toys at Corpus Christi Catholic Church because 10 years ago she had a parent who was a member of the church, and found out the church would donate toys to children.

Father Albert Hoorman said the donations have helped out exponentially over the years, and enjoys the “direct contact” process.

“The grade-school kids are like little Santa Clauses,” he said.

Parents also joined in on the donating fun by making donations of gift wrapping paper, bows and gift tags.

“I think it kind of hits home everywhere,” Boyd said. “I never did it for the glory… I did it because it’s the right thing to do.”

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