Duplin County teacher makes sure her kids in need get Christmas gifts

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DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - For many kids, this time of year means making a Christmas wish list with all of the latest toys and gadgets they'd like to see under the tree.

However, for some children in the east, Christmas wish lists don't come so easily. That's where Mrs. Mannion comes in.

Landyn Mannion's second grade classroom at Rose Hill-Magnolia Elementary School, in Duplin County, may look a little messy, but it's not for the reason you might think.

She says it's because an elf has left presents for the students. "Before Thanksgiving break, they wrote one thing that they needed, if they needed shoes and clothes, and I made sure it was in our budget range and they were real excited."

Shh... Mrs. Mannion is that elf, and Thursday these children's wishes are coming true.

The gifts were purchased with the help of her her family and friends.

Many of these second graders asked for things like new shoes, jackets and even toothbrushes.

"I've had a couple students where their shoes are too tight and maybe can't afford for them to get new shoes, and toothbrushes and clothes, so I definitely think its a necessity that they need. And to make sure they are comfortable in the classroom with their shoes and their clothes and then learning happens."

"My mom never had time to give us new shoes, because she was helping to get a new job," says one student, Lani Hernandez. "And when I saw the shoes, my mind was just blown. I really wanted to new shoes."

"Santa Clause and the elves gave me a football and they gave me a jacket," says Adrian Newkirk, another student.

However, Mrs. Mannion says she doesn't want the credit, she just wants others to pass it on. "Open your heart and when you see someone who's in need, to take that money and give it to somebody that really needs it, because it can make a total difference in their lives."

These lives have already been changed by their teacher who cares so much.

"I would say she's awesome, she's pretty, she's nice," Xavier Diaz, another student, says.

It's Mannion's first year teaching and she says she hopes to make more traditions for her classroom in the coming years.