More than 80 students that benefitted from the Target shopping spree, July 26, 2011.

More than 80 local students in need had the opportunity to visit several area Indianapolis Target stores to purchase school supplies, clothing and other must-have necessities just in time for back-to-school.  The Salvation Army and Target are helping these IPS students gear up for the upcoming academic year and get ready to succeed in school with the Target School Spree. Each child, selected by The Salvation Army, was awarded an $80 Target GiftCard to purchase much-needed back-to-school supplies. Each child was given a reusable Target shopping bag and was paired with a volunteer chaperone for their fun day of back-to-school shopping.

While each child waited their turn to shop, the group made thank you cards and snacked on popcorn generously provided by Target. Ainsley Hindsmerrell and her mother noticed the group of Salvation Army kids while shopping and felt led to do their part. “She (Ainsley) always wants a new backpack every year and I try to teach her to give her old one away,” as they gave one of the volunteers their donation. As a result of this exchange, Ainsley and her mother will now be making regular donations of clothing and misc. items to The Salvation Army’s Women and Children’s Shelter downtown.

Education is at the heart of Target’s giving and the Target School Spree is one way that Target acts locally to help kids learn and schools teach, paving a path to graduation. As part of the Target School Spree, Target awarded all 40 of The Salvation Army Divisions nationwide a total of $1 million in Target GiftCards and in-kind contributions for the shopping sprees. Nearly 500 Target stores participated in the one-day Target School Spree event in select regions across the country. Each $80 Target GiftCard awarded as part of the program  provided a child with the necessary supplies to go back to school in the fall, ready to learn.