When Lilli Delillo thinks about how children at Children’s Mercy Hospital are spending their Christmas, it makes her sad.

When Lilli Delillo thinks about how children at Children’s Mercy Hospital are spending their Christmas, it makes her sad.

“I know they need to be there because they are sick and need medicine. It makes me feel bad because they can’t be home with their families,” said the fourth grade at Buckner Elementary. “I want them to be able to enjoy the same kinds of presents that we get to have Christmas morning.”

Students and staff at Buckner Elementary recently collected $800 in eight days to buy toys for patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital. The project was organized by the student government. Pennie Ahmann, third grade teacher and student government sponsor, said she was surprised at how much money could be collected in such a short time with mainly coins the students brought every day.

“The students basically brought in whatever they wanted,” she said. “The student government students spoke about it in their classes and made announcements every morning. They really advertised it well and kept reminding everyone to bring something to donate.”

The group of 14 students then went to the Blue Springs Wal-Mart to choose toys for infants through teenagers. Sarah Brown, a fourth grade teacher and student government sponsor, said this is not the first year students have come together for a cause. In January, students raised $600 for relief efforts in Haiti.

“This is a community, and the students really want to help anyone in need of assistance,” she said. “This is a caring group of kids. When the idea of donating to Children’s Mercy came up, we thought it was a great idea, and the students really got behind it.”

Alex Zachgo, a third grader, said he thought it was fun to go shopping for gifts. He said they tried to choose a variety of toys so there was something for everyone.

“It makes me feel good because I got to give a toy to someone who is sick in the hospital at Christmas,” he said. “I think this is what Christmas is all about, giving rather than receiving.”

Third grader Shannon Jeffries said she was surprised by how much money was collected and was glad all of her classmates participated.

“I didn’t think we would collect that much because we didn’t last year,” she said. “I think we had two carts completely full of toys. That was really cool because it will make the sick children feel so much better to see that someone remembers them on Christmas.”