“I want them to really feel good:” Menomonee Falls students make the holidays brighter for young patients

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MENOMONEE FALLS -- A hospital bed is not where a child wants to spend Christmas. But thanks to students in Menomonee Falls, and their teachers, the holidays will be a little bit brighter for the patients at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

Ben Franklin Elementary SchoolHoliday cheer was in the air Tuesday, December 20th at Ben Franklin Elementary School in Menomonee Falls.

"This is Santa's workshop," said Mark Kruse, fifth grade teacher.

Kruse's fifth grade classroom was where the magic happened. The students made and decorated cards for patients at Children's Hospital.

"We are going to have probably 50 kids every half-hour," said Kruse.

"Helping them fight whatever disease they have, or whatever is wrong with them. I want them to really feel good and be in a good place," said Nathan Taylor, fifth grade student.

Ben Franklin Elementary School

The effort is a Christmas tradition for their teacher. Kruse's brother suffers from a rare genetic disease. Kruse is very familiar with Children's Hospital.

"I spent a lot of Christmases in there with my family -- so it is good to see the smiles on their faces when they get a little card from the kids and stuff," said Kruse.

The whole school participated in this effort. About 400 students signed up.

"Just to make sure they know they are being cared for and supported," said Kaya Monzingo, fifth grade student.

Ben Franklin Elementary School

Many also donated toys.

"When they leave here, we want to them to be great kids to each other, to the community, and to just make this world a better place," said Kruse.

It was a lesson on love and hope.

"You're thinking of that person and you're hoping that they feel better, because it could be you," said Asia Groves, fifth grade student.

Ben Franklin Elementary School

Children's Hospital officials will sort through all of the toys -- and then separate them by age and gender.

Mr. Kruse and his brother plan to deliver them to the hospital on Wednesday, December 21st.

When a patient checks out of Children's Hospital they are given a present, no matter the time of year. Some of the donated toys may not all end up being Christmas gifts.