While I held down the fort here at the office, my boss Deb volunteered to help shop for back-to-school goodies this morning.  Our friends at Target gave more than 2,000 kids across the US an opportunity to pick up the stuff they need to be properly outfitted for school.

Deb helped Arthur pick out this cool banana shirt!

Deb helped Arthur pick out this cool banana shirt!  Photo credit: Tim Schaal, Western Territory

Here’s Deb Knutson’s story about her shopping experience this morning:

It’s not every day I can say, “I made a friend today.”  But today, I can.

Today, I volunteered as a shopper’s helper for Target’s “School Spree,” a back to school shopping spree for kids in need.  Here in Los Angeles, more than 200 kids hit the aisles to pick out new clothes, shoes, backpacks, pens and pencils, crayons and markers, notebooks and paper, and all kinds of great stuff to get their school year off to a good start.

The Salvation Army provided the kids and volunteers.  Target provided the gift cards ($100 per child), in-store assistance and an after-shopping party.  And local law enforcement provided security and a few more volunteers.

I had the good fortune of being paired with Arthur, a high-energy six-year-old with a mop of brown curls.  Arthur and I covered A LOT of ground in the Inglewood Target store — chit-chatting the whole time — and finally made our way to the check-out line.  Then Arthur was off to the after-shopping party for some snacks, coloring, face painting, and a photo opp or two.  Busy guy!  He ran over to my table a few times to offer me a potato chip, show me his ‘Bullseye’ face painting,  then to ask me if I was his friend.  “Of course!” I said.

Once the party wrapped up, it was time for the kids to collect their shopping bags, line up, and take the bus back to The Salvation Army Community Center.  As everyone headed for the door, Arthur looked back at me and hollered, “‘Bye, friend!”

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