BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Teachers often wear multiple hats in the classroom, and on Monday, some Baltimore teachers added another: Santa’s helpers.

Teachers from George Washington Elementary School in Baltimore’s Pigtown neighborhood went door-to-door delivering a gift to each student from their school.

It’s part of the school’s holiday tradition that all starts with a letter to Santa.

“They had to write down three different items that they would like,” kindergarten teacher Mechelle Laster said.

Then, special education teacher Nina Teresa got to work.

“I take all the letters and I compile an Amazon wish list,” she explained. “We send the wish lists out to friends and family and then friends and family send it out to friends and family and then, amazingly, all the gifts get bought.”

In total, the teachers passed out more than 200 gifts, but the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping the students from opening them together in person.

That doesn’t mean the celebration has to end, though.

“We’re going to come together virtually and everyone will open up their gifts as if we were still here at George Washington,” Laster said.

Luke Eschleman, whose children Brody, Quinn and Naya got gifts on Monday, said the teachers’ efforts are making the holidays a little brighter during a year that has been challenging for all.

“It’s been a lot of work to be at home while they’re at school while I’m trying to do my own work… (but) every little surprise is extra meaningful this year, and it means a lot that the school would go above and beyond and distribute gifts in person,” he said.

Annie Rose Ramos