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“They just can’t believe it,” Strangers come to aid of Oklahoma City kids who asked for blankets for Christmas

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OKLAHOMA CITY - When Jamie Coleman asked her first graders what they wanted for Christmas, she was shocked by their answers.

"So, we told the children to pick out things they really needed and they could choose one toy they wanted. We started noticing there was a common theme: blankets," said Jamie Coleman, a teacher at Parmalee Elementary.

About six children in each first grade class asked for the same basic necessity.

An easy buy for many but not for the kids at the Oklahoma City school with a 100 percent free or reduced lunch rate.

"I was heartbroken, because it's something we take for granted. We have blankets in our house. I have blankets for my kids. I have several blankets for my children," Coleman said.

Without the kid’s knowledge, Coleman set out to find 950 blankets on social media.

The response was overwhelming.

Strangers, retailers and friends from across the country donated money or blankets.

In all, they received 1,800 blankets - twice their goal.

"You get to pick out any blanket you want,” Principal Michelle Lewis said to the children.

"They just can't believe it. They've seen blankets come in throughout the week, but they didn't know that these were for them."

Little Lakota Huffine picked one with owls and foxes.

"Because, I like it. It's wonderful, and I love nature,” Huffine said.

He said he doesn't really have blankets at home but knows exactly where this one will go.

"I'm going to sleep with it," he said.

It's all thanks to a staff member with lots of love and a community with lots of generosity to make the children feel special and comforted this Christmas.

"We've got to make sure these babies are fed, that they're feeling safe where they're at, that they have a warm blanket, that they have comfort at the end of the day."

Since Parmelee Elementary doubled their goal, they are now going to give the rest of the blankets to two other schools in the area.