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Kids on Target for Yuma shopping spree
A group of 25 students in Yuma took Target by storm Wednesday to participate in a back-to-school shopping spree — each child with $80 to spend.
The K-12 students, selected by The Salvation Army, joined students across the nation in the Target School Spree. Target stores awarded 40 of the Salvation Army divisions in the U.S. a total of $1 million in Target gift cards.
Each child, who was selected based on need, was accompanied by a volunteer chaperone as they made their way through the store to find clothes for the upcoming school year. Each volunteer had to go through a background check as well as an extensive application process, said Salvation Army Capt. Randy Hartt.
He said the Salvation Army is just one of many organizations in Yuma working to help area children.
“Really it's all about collaboration and everybody working together to try to see if we can catch all the needs,” Hartt said, such as Target and other organizations like JCPenney, which sponsored children from The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Yuma in a similar shopping spree last month, and the Foundation of Yuma Regional Medical Center, which supplies districts with backpacks full of school supplies for children in need.
Volunteer Mark Munk said he heard about the event at his church, the Salvation Army Yuma Corps, and was interested in getting involved after being a part of similar events in the past.
“My kids are all grown so it's fun to still interact with the kids. It's just fun to see the kids get brand-new clothes.”
Munk helped John Casarez, 9, with his shopping spree. They rang up his purchase at just over $63 in the Target checkout line, with shirts, socks, undergarments and hat in hand.
John's sister, Marina, 8, purchased shirts, shorts and undergarments as well. “I felt happy to get clothes. I got to pick them out.”
Juan Leyva Jr., 7, added that he was also excited to purchase some new shirts and pants during the shopping spree. He said it felt like Christmas to receive everything at one time.
To get involved in the event in the future, call the Salvation Army at 783-0181.
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.