This year, the YMCAs in Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties helped 55 children get ready to go back to school. Thanks to their Bright Beginnings program, the organizations were able to take the children on a shopping trip and give them backpacks filled with supplies.
Students in Northumberland shopped at the Walmart in Kilmarnock and students from Richmond and Westmoreland counties shopped at the Walmart in Tappahannock.
Each child had a personal shopping assistant and a $125 budget. The shopping assistant was just there to offer some guidance and help the children find the right sizes. “But the kids were allowed to pick out pretty much whatever they wanted, as long as the items were school appropriate,” said Terrie Suthard of Member Services at the Warsaw YMCA branch.
Clearly proud of their purchases, many of the children were eager to list, if not show off, what they bought. The items ranged from shirts, pants and sneakers to undergarments, headbands and steel-toe boots. One rising third-grader, unable to wait for the first day of school, returned to the YMCA sporting his new hat and a matching watch.
Many of the children didn’t know school supplies were part of the deal. They were surprised to get back to the YMCA to find that, in addition to their new gear, they also had a new backpack.
“I cross-referenced the supplies with the school lists, and most of the general supplies the kids need were in there. The only things that may have been missing were items for the classroom like tissues or a dry erase marker,” said Suthard.
Getting new things wasn’t the only highlight of the day. The trip gave the children a chance to hang out with other kids. They were served snacks and beverages courtesy of Walmart.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northern Neck News 8/29/18