Salvation Army, Target provide shopping sprees for needy kids

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WAUWATOSA -- Many public school kids will head back to school next week, and for those still needing to shop for supplies, those costs can really add up.  30 students in the Milwaukee area are getting some much-needed help.

On Monday, August 27th, they got to go on a shopping spree at the Target store on 124th Street in Wauwatosa, buying pens, notebooks, shoes and even clothes.

“I got some sharpeners, erasers and some markers,” first-grader Patience Collins said.

The shopping spree is organized through a partnership of the Salvation Army and Target, providing the students from Kindergarten to 12th grade an $80 gift card - money their parents sometimes cannot afford to spend.

“It really helps take the stress off the families at a time when the schools need more and more things provided by the families,” Loni Fitzgerald from the Salvation Army said.

“It's a very big blessing, especially getting all this stuff to help my parents, because their jobs aren't exactly what they planned to be,” sixth-grader Pebblez Gonzalez said.

The students were paired with a volunteer chaperone to help with the shopping experience, but ultimately, what they put in their carts was the students' choosing.

“It feels good.  Feels great because I get to choose what I want instead of having somebody else choose it for me,” eighth-grader Tiffany Burks said.

Nearly 500 Target stores nationwide are offering the school sprees.

“It’s really cool to see it take place in the Milwaukee market and see a really big impact in kids' lives here too,” Target Store Team Leader Jeremy Frenz said.

“It’s like God just gave me a huge blessing that I really needed,” Gonzalez said.

This is the third year the Milwaukee-area Salvation Army and Target Stores have teamed up to provide back-to-school shopping sprees for low-income students.