ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) – It’s a special shopping spree for children who otherwise may not get anything for the holidays. The Salvation Army and Target teamed up to give dozens of underprivileged St. Louis kids $100 to spend at Target.
The goal was to let children buy the special toys they’ve been pining for, but for some, the realities of life trumped their desire for toys.
Key’arerah Knight loves Christmas, but her stocking isn’t stuffed with presents. “I just don’t get a lot,” she says. But this year, the nine year-old will get a lot. She’s one of 55 kids who went on a shopping spree at the Target in Brentwood.
It’s a day Key’arerah might never forget: the day she got her very first dress. It’s sleeveless and lavishly covered in black and white sequined stars. “I would wear it for my birthday and a lot of occasions,” she reasons.
It’s an occasion that tugged at the heartstrings of each volunteer, paired up with a child to help him or her spend the $100. Rams football player Rodney McLeod was one of them. When he learned about the cause, he knew it was one he wanted to be part of: “I know how I was as a little kid, you have a lot of things on your list, but with $100, I’m hoping they can get everything that they want.”
Major Lonneal Richardson with the Salvation Army says unfortunately, many kids reach for necessities first, like coats and shoes: “Often times we have to remind them to get a toy; that Christmas is about having that happy event of a toy on Christmas day.”
Still, Key’arerah found a way to accomplish both, with some fashionable PJ’s. She explains, “I only have one pair, so it’s great to really get presents and get to shop for whatever you want.”
This is the program’s third year in St. Louis, and will help 100 needy kids in total. Those who didn’t shop Tuesday will do so in the near future.