Twenty students from Yellow Creek Elementary School each went on a $100 shopping trip Tuesday morning, thanks to the generosity of the employees of Walmart at Middlesboro.
Patricia West, director of the school’s family resource center, said the 20 students chosen from Yellow Creek Elementary School for this year’s shopping trip were from kindergarten, first and second grades.
Once the students arrived at Walmart, they were paired with employees. The employees escorted the children throughout the store where they were allowed to spend their $100 on a mixture of toys, clothes and shoes.
Once the shopping spree was over, the children were surprised with a visit from Santa Claus. After the kids visited with Santa, they were served lunch from the Walmart bakery. Before the children left to return to school, they were given a treat bag full of goodies including fruit and candy.
“We raised this money one dollar at a time,” said Olive Mason, personnel manager at Walmart.
Employees raised the money throughout the year by taking up donations in the employee break room. These donations come from numerous bake sales and raffles, along with “$1 jean days” on Fridays. On “$1 jean days,” if an employee donated $1 to the Christmas shopping fund, they were allowed to break the Walmart dress code and wear jeans.
Mason showed her appreciation to employees at Walmart for their help in making this year’s shopping trip such a success. She said employees from all shifts participated in raising the money to fund the event.
This is the third consecutive year the employees of Walmart have raised money for local school children. Every year the employees try to reach a minimum of $2,000, which provides 20 kids with a $100 shopping trip. The employees rotate schools every year and sometimes raise enough money to sponsor more than one school.
Reina Cunningham is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted via phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 205.