NJ teacher raises money to purchase Christmas gifts for every student

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A Middlesex County teacher is going the extra mile to make her students happy this holiday season.

New Brunswick teacher Jennifer Olawski says that it is her favorite project of the year. She says that it takes months of preparation and the generosity of the community to pull off.

The Livingston Elementary School physical education teacher says that it is a project that she started when she taught in the Paterson School District.

"I had a conversation with one of the little girls about Christmas and the holidays and she wasn't excited so I was going to go out and buy her a gift myself,” says Olawski.

Olawski says that she took the idea further and set up to purchase a toy for every child in her school.

"It was a beautiful moment, something I’ll never forget. Even the adults in the room were getting emotional,” she says.

Olawski gets help from family, friends and co-workers to purchase and wrap all 500 gifts for the students.

“It takes a village, you know? It really does,” she says.

But her humble spirit had not gone unnoticed. Hanging in her kitchen is a letter from a U.S. Marshal in Nevada. The letter reads in part, “My life was changed by a teacher just like you… You are a light that shines so bright in this world. You are my hero.”

Along with a toys, Olawski says that she is hoping to raise enough money to also purchase winter hats and gloves for her students. A GoFundMe page has been set up for anyone who wishes to make a donation.

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