Christmas Shopping with Special Kids

Our whole shopping group including City Council member Veronica Mitchell, Ofc Metter Rice, volunteers from Pontiac Youth Assistance ant our Target hosts

Our whole shopping group including City Council member Veronica Mitchell, Ofc Metter Rice, volunteers from Pontiac Youth Assistance and our Target hosts

Last night we had an opportunity to make Christmas a bit brighter for 15 kids and their families.  We joined forces with our friends at Pontiac Youth Assistance and Target stores to shop with a group of kids.  The kids are from families with very limited resources. Because of the generous contributions of Target, RGIS (an Auburn Hills company) and the Auburn Hills Police Officers Association the kids could buy gifts for their families and there was even enough to buy something for themselves.

I shopped with a 15-year-old girl, Catherine, who nearly wore me out!  I think we crisscrossed that store at least 10 times while she considered what to get for her sister, brother, mom and dad.  She was kind of shy about buying something for herself.  She said she preferred giving something rather than getting something.  But in the end she did see the new Taylor Swift CD that she quickly decided was just what she wanted.  But she also clarified that she didn’t normally like Taylor Swift (too preppy, she said), she just likes this album. We had an opportunity to talk a little about her life and aspirations.

While we were in the store we ran into Deputy Director Jim Manning who was off duty and doing a little personal shopping.  We stopped

This handsome fellow got that terrific hat and Megatron (that he called Michelangelo)

This handsome fellow got that terrific hat and Megatron (that he called Michelangelo)

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Officer Metter Rice, young shopper and helpful Target person.

 

and talked for a minute.  When he walked away, she asked me who he was so I gave her the short version.  She said she was kind of surprised –she said he seemed just like a “regular person.”  I’m glad she got to meet him and see him in another light.  I talked with another girl who shopped with Officer Metter Rice.  She told me that she was very impressed by Rice.  She thought Rice was “really cool.”(I agreed).

After they finished shopping Target provided snacks and wrapping supplies.  What a crazy, noisy scene!  Wrapping paper and ribbon flying everywhere!  Each young person went home with a bag of their already wrapped gifts and looked pretty pleased with themselves.  The adults looked  a bit tired and a lot satisfied.  It was a fun experience.

Overall I thought it was a big success and we couldn’t have done it without our sponsors:  RGIS from over on Taylor Road and their very generous donation, the Auburn Hills Parks and Recreation and Seniors’ staff for the bus to transport the kids, the Auburn Hills Police Officers Association–I’m proud of their community spirit and committment to kids, and of course, Target.

On Saturday, we’ll be on another shopping event with another 20 kids from Avondale Schools in partnership with Avondale Youth Assistance and the Morning Optimist Club of Auburn Hills, sponsored by Meijer.

I’ve done this for 16 or 17 years and I never get tired of it.  Thank you to all of the sponsors and the adults who gave their time for this fun and worthy event–making someone else’s holidays a bit better.

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!!