08/02/13 — Students enjoy shopping spree

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Students enjoy shopping spree

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on August 2, 2013 1:46 PM

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Keynaya Jones, 8, shops for back-to-school items at Target this morning with volunteer Alicia Burns. The Salvation Army took about 30 children shopping for clothing and school supplies. Volunteers helped the children pick out the right sizes and most necessary items.

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Children and volunteers line up for a photo before their big back-to-school shopping spree this morning.

Going back to school means going back to school shopping, and the Salvation Army did just that this morning.

Volunteers armed with gift cards to Target paired up with approximately 30 children early today to give them a chance to shop for classroom essentials such as clothing and shoes, backpacks, notebooks, pencils and crayons.

"Moms and dads bring lists of what the children need," said Lt. Kenny Igleheart, commander of the Salvation Army. "We're using the tax-free holiday to get them a little bit of extra money to use."

Igleheart said the back-to-school program has been in operation in Wayne County for about four years. Each year, an entirely new group of students is chosen to participate in the event. Gift cards were preloaded this year with $81 to use to purchase school supplies.

"I'll be waiting around the cash register just in case anyone goes under the amount or over the amount, and that way I can step in and make sure they exhaust all the money on the cards," Igleheart said as the children and their guides spread out across the aisles.

The children and volunteers gathered outside of Target at 8:30 this morning before going into the employee breakroom to be paired up.

Keynaya Jones, 8, bolted straight for the backpacks after being paired up with 17-year-old Alicia Burns. Keynaya picked out a blue backpack with kittens on it "because book bags are my favorite thing and this one had my favorite color and my favorite animal on it," she said.

Miss Burns said she decided to come out and volunteer to help with the shopping because "I heard they needed help and I was all for helping the kids."

But while backpacks are Keynaya's favorite thing to shop for, she was most excited about getting something entirely different.

"I'm really excited for a nice pair of shoes," she said.