“Tis the season” of giving but what about those families in the community who are struggling financially? Their children want to put a gift under the tree for their parents, too. Thanks to students at Allatoona High School, some of those students in need will be able to wrap up some holiday cheer for their families.
Allatoona has been hosting the annual Shop with a Buc program for more than a decade. On December 14, Allatoona students will once again serve as Santa’s helpers as they escort students in need on a shopping trip through Target.
This year, the Cobb school anticipates surpassing the program’s goal of $20,000, which will help about 135 students from local elementary and middle schools.
As the elementary students browse Target looking for the perfect gifts with the help of an Allatoona student, they will have about $125 to spend. The Allatoona student mentors will guide the students and encourage them to shop for clothing and other needed items, gifts for family members, and a gift for themselves. The middle school students are part of the secret shopper portion supported by Allatoona faculty volunteering for the day.
“This program is a great community event that many of the high schools participate in, and we are fortunate to be able to continue with the tradition each year,” said Dr. Jennifer Dorrough, Allatoona head swim and dive coach and student government lead mentor.
About 365 Allatoona students are helping with the holiday shopping program—the largest group yet! They represent numerous Allatoona student groups including the student government, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Key Club, as well as, the athletic and fine arts programs. Adding to the shopping experience for the students, the Allatoona chorus and orchestra will perform at Target on Highway 41 where the event takes place.
The December 14 event kicks off at about 7 a.m. and ends at about 2 p.m. In addition to shopping, the students will be treated to breakfast and lunch. They will also participate in activities like ornament making and pictures with Santa.
The shopping and games are not the only surprises, the non-profit Random Acts graciously donated $10,000 in the form of grocery gift cards to give to every child that participates in the Shop with a Buc program. Allatoona is estimating that the amount may add up to about $70 per child.
Other members of the Cobb Schools community are dedicating their time to help members of the community, too. You may need to grab a tissue box before reading the story about the Baker Elementary surprise.