When children are better equipped for their first day of school, they can start the new year with more confidence. The annual Children’s Shopping Spree, put on by Active 20-30 Clubs #50, #1029, and #205, is a back-to-school event to help children start the school year off with the tools necessary for success. This year, the event served up to 300 children from across Sonoma County, identified by partnering organizations and schools. The event helps give children the opportunity to begin school on the same material footing as the rest of their class and provides some relief for parents who struggle to meet the added financial burden of purchasing back-to-school supplies and clothes for their kids this time of year.
At the event, each child was paired with a vetted volunteer who has a pre-loaded gift card of $150 to stores in Coddingtown Mall. Macy’s, Target, JC Penny, and Icing are among the stores that participated. The money may be spent on jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shoes, underwear, socks, jackets, belts, hats, etc., depending on what parents share that their children most need. After shopping, children had the opportunity to get a haircut from a local volunteer hairstylist from Lytle’s Beauty College as well as a dental exam from volunteer dentist, Dr. Stephanie Settimi. Children also received a new backpack full of grade-specific school supplies.
Breakfast was provided for children and their parents, and children enjoyed time at stations run by the Santa Rosa Police Department, the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County, Sonoma Life Support, the Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County, Umpqua Bank’s ice cream truck, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Rosa, Montgomery Village Lions Club, PG&E and magician Steve Batson. They were also entertained by super heroes from Justice for a Cause.
The Active 20-30 Clubs uses funds from fundraisers such as #1029’s Crab Feed, #50’s Battle of the Brews in Santa Rosa and #205 and #50’s Kaboom! in Windsor. Club #205 also receives grants for this event from the Town of Windsor, the City of Healdsburg and Wells Fargo.
Active 20-30 is an international service organization made up of men and women in their 20’s and 30’s who have a passion for improving the lives of children in their communities. For more information or to find a club near you, visit active20-30.org.
-Submitted by Amy Holter, Active 20-30 Club