Christmas in July ended with a bang as more than 120 children went back-to-school shopping courtesy of Target.

Children enrolled in Indianapolis-area Salvation Army programs piled into one of four Target stores Tuesday morning.  (A small group also went shopping last week.) The kids were greeted by volunteers eager to help with their shopping. Each volunteer took a child, or two, and a back-to-school shopping list.  Kids were able to pick out much needed clothing like uniforms and socks along with shoes and other school necessities.

The children graciously shopped. There was no hiding the sense of pride or the  smiles the experience generated. Some parents tagged along to aid in the shopping. One mother helped her two young children get school uniforms.


“I would never have been able to get all of this for my children at once,” she said. “I’d have to save and get a pair of pants here and a shirt there. I am so thankful for all of this.”

The shopping was part of a program Target created called the Target School Spree. It’s a way for Target to act on a local level and help kids learn and schools teach by providing gift cards to children in need. Each $80 Target gift card awarded will be used to purchase the necessary supplies for children to be prepared to start school this fall. In all, Target awarded all 40 of the Salvation Army Divisions nationwide a total of $1 million in Target gift cards and in-kind contributions. Nearly 500 Target stores in select regions will participate in the Target School Spree.  Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by 2015. “Way to go Target!”

For photos of this event, click here.