Former student donates gifts to Miami school ahead of holidays

MIAMI (WSVN) - Santa Claus and a former student paid a visit to a Miami school just ahead of the holidays.

Children at Sunflowers Academy in Miami sang and danced in anticipation of a visit from Santa.

“Well, today, we give a smile, and we bring some joy to the children here that sometimes are not expecting any kinds of gifts from us,” said school principal Dr. Emma Ventura.

All the children got gifts thanks to Secret Santa Luis Valdeon, a former student of the school.

“It’s always a pleasure to give back,” said Valdeon.

When Valdeon was a child, his family came from Cuba. He didn’t speak English, and the teachers at Sunflowers Academy helped him learn the new language.

“This school gave me a lot of hope. They always do Christmas parties. They always did amazing things, and you always have fun with them,” Valdeon said. “It’s not just a school, they have fun with what they do, and they really enjoy it, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Miami City Commissioner Manolo Reyes also stopped in to help Santa.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to see a smile on a kid; there is nothing more rewarding than helping someone in need,” Reyes said.

Ventura also donates turkeys to the school during Thanksgiving. He said he just likes to give back to the schools that helped him.

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