Part of the back to school ministry for client families is for children going into 6th , 7th, and 8th grade. Each family with an eligible student meets a volunteer shopper at the nearest WalMart. I was blessed to go with a single mother and her three children and one a boy going into 6th grade. I had a WalMart gift card which was tax free for $100 for school clothes from underwear to gloves. The mom is working and ironically for another agency that helps the needy , but she herself needs help to feed and clothe her three children. Working poor. . . . . .
I explained the process and then asked if they wanted me to walk with them or wait at the cashiers. Mom said, they had started looking before I met them and she thought we could meet up to check- out. She called me when they were finished and I checked out. Many of the kids will buy socks, tights, underwear and then the little money the family has to spend at other places for more fashionable clothing. You may wonder as I did why this was just for Middle School students. Well, the funds are limited, and elementary students don’t care as much about clothes and Middle and High School students can suffer terribly being different. High school students are provided with a limited gift card from one of the malls for their purchases.
As we walked out of the store, I asked if I could give a treat to the two smaller kids as well as mom and son. “Hey guys, how about a yogurt sundae at 16 Handles?” Large smiles spread across their faces as it was an hour after lunch and we had shopped through it.
16 Handles is nearby and has 16 flavors of yogurt and then the add-on candy, nuts, fruit, and whipped cream. Of course, we had to get a cherry on top. I told them to get the size and toppings they wanted. . . .whatever they could eat! We sat relaxed talking school, the end of summer, just chit-chat. Big hugs and many thanks at the end of our time together. For me, it was an afternoon I would not soon forget.
Thank you Incredible ConSERNS-U for letting me shop and spend time with this great family !