ChildSprees Start School Year with Class

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CHILDSPREE–Major Ben Nunes, Tucson Amphi Corps, helps a child choose new school clothes.


ChildSpree is designed to reach out to kids from disadvantaged and low-income backgrounds in the community who cannot afford new clothes. Each child receives a $100 gift certificate to use at Mervyn’s, a ten-percent discount, and a new backpack. After shopping with a volunteer guide, the kids get a hot breakfast and other treats. This year, Mervyn’s California and The Salvation Army co-sponsored the event.

Corps and service extensions in Riverside, Moreno Valley, Banning, Ontario, Murrieta, San Bernardino, Cathedral City, Yucca Valley, Victorville, Redlands, and Yucaipa helped make back-to-school exciting for 508 children.

Two Mervyn’s stores in Tucson participated with The Salvation Army to outfit 148 children. The Army raised more than $6,000 to match a $3,000 donation from each store, and Mervyn’s raised additional funds so that more children could be served. McDonald’s served bounteous breakfasts at the Alvernon and Speedway Mervyn’s and The Original Hamburger Stand and the Adult Rehabilitation Center provided breakfast at the store on Ajo in South Tucson.

Chaperones gave supportive companionship as well as helping to choose appropriate clothing. Additional donations of coupons and passes were received from eegee’s and Funtastiks. Target and Mervyn’s provided additional school supplies and goodies. Participants are referred through several of the Army’s programs on a basis of certain low-income criteria.

“I always look forward to this, and to seeing the excitement in the eyes of the children as they shop for new clothes for school,” said Captain William Dickinson, Tucson City coordinator, “and I especially appreciate Mervyn’s California and the volunteers who help us with this wonderful event.”

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