WILLOWICK, Ohio- A Willowick elementary school is learning the importance of giving back during the holidays.
On Thursday, Santa made an early pit stop to Royalview Elementary in Willowick to put on a show for the students who participated in this year's Christmas stocking project.
In 2010, the students formed a partnership with Cleveland Police Department Second District. The students began fundraising for the police department's annual Christmas party. Since then, they have helped make a difference in the lives of 700 children.
"The kids are learning that it is more important to give than to receive and this is important because I think we live in a world where they are used to having things and so this shows them that is not what Christmas is all about,” said Cherise Goodrich, a fourth-grade teacher
Organizers said the students really outdid themselves this year; they donated more than 250 stockings to children in need. The students also sent hand written messages of encouragement.
"Giving is contagious and this is what is happening here today. Five years later, we went from 30 stockings to 250 stockings, so this is what Christmas is all about and we really appreciate the kids at Royalview Elementary and the staff here," said Capt. Keith Sulzer, with the Cleveland Police Department.
Santa made sure all the kids got a big hug before he jumped back on his sleigh.