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Dallas Special Needs Students Crafting Special Gifts

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News
The wooden, painted parts of a Santa Claus decoration sits on an artsian's worktable on November 30, 2009. (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The wooden, painted parts of a Santa Claus decoration sits on an artsian’s worktable on November 30, 2009. (credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It seems as though Santa Claus has another workshop located right here in Dallas. For the past five years, a local school for kids with special needs has been helping out Kris Kringle and proving that, despite their disabilities, these kids have the ability to give to those who are less fortunate.

Inside the Multiple Careers Magnet Center, the special needs students create special gifts. From blocks of wood they build old-fashioned toys like rocking horses and reindeers. And, just like the presents crafted in Santa’s Workshop, these toys will put smiles on the faces of little girls and boys.

“It’s very amazing. It’s outstanding,” said student Ricky Brice. “It’s the gift of life. God blessing us, and we’re just doing what we’re doing.”

The students at this school have disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism, just to name a few. Yet, these kids with special needs have found a way to serve a greater need. The toys which are carved out at this building end up at A Wish With Wings in Arlington, a charity that brings hope to children with critical illnesses.

Luis Rico is deaf, but can hear the impact he has on kids fighting to stay alive. “I feel good for the children. It is nice,” Rico said through an interpreter. “It is something they need.”

The Multiple Careers Magnet Center in Dallas was created to teach special needs students a trade so that they can be productive members of society. But with each toy that is made, it seems as though the school and the students are way ahead of the game. “They themselves need help,” said school spokeswoman Dr. Thelma Benavides. “But in turn, they are so ready, so willing and so able to give help to others.”

And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?