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La Joya ISD teacher starts coat drive— gathers more than expected

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A La Joya ISD school teacher is spreading Christmas cheer early this season for hundreds of elementary students. 

Zapata Elementary Teacher, Monique Salinas, is spearheading a coat and jacket drive for students to brave spurts of cold valley winter weather. 

Due to the pandemic, students are learning virtually from their homes. Salinas says when it gets cold outside, she can see her students shiver through her camera on zoom. 

"There they are with their little cups of...their little warm drinks, wrapped in their little blankets, [saying] 'Miss, miss are you cold? Are you cold? Because I’m really cold,'" Salinas explained. 

In effort to keep her students warm, she planned a coat drive with her principal. Over the course of a few short days, and with the help of the community she collected close to 600 jackets and coats.

People across the region and out of state also donated space heaters and toys for some added Christmas cheer. 

Salinas is still collecting coats, jackets, toys and space heater donations. She and other volunteers plan to distribute the donations before Christmas Day. 

If you would like to donate, you can contact her through her Facebook profile by clicking here. 

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