Happier holiday for 90 kids, thanks to Rotary Club of West Seattle Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree

December 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm | In Holidays, Rotary Club of West Seattle, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

Once again this year, the Rotary Club of West Seattle and a big supporting cast of volunteers got to play Santa for almost a hundred kids from local schools, during the annual Children’s Holiday Shopping Spree – the club’s biggest day, and signature community-service project, each year. It all started before dawn Saturday, with volunteers already in place as kids began arriving at the building that’s home to SODO Sears, SODO Kitchen, and Starbucks HQ. It’s always a big operation:

The kids patiently waited as a full morning of activities ramped up:

That big morning included, breakfast, shopping, and photos with Santa, who we caught in the early going, with Tom Wise and a determinedly anonymous elf:

The corps of volunteers included UW students:

Among the many Rotarians there to help make holiday dreams come true, Tara Luckie (of West Seattle Helpline) and Len Burton-Hardin (of Howden-Kennedy):

Huge smiles all around … made possible by the volunteers and by those who donate to the Rotary year-round, including via fundraisers like their summertime Berry Sales, to support this project and others. Read more about the history of the Children’s Shopping Spree here.

6 Comments

  1. For those who don’t really understand this day, it’s a day for kids to go shopping and pick out what they want within a budget. Some of these kids would otherwise not get the chance to do this as money may be tight at home. One of my kids, years ago, had the chance to shop with the Rotary and it meant the world to her and was very appreciated. A lot of work and planning goes into this early morning event. Thank you for continuing to provide a great day for West Seattle children, your generosity does NOT go unnoticed. Merry Christmas

    Comment by Alki resident — 3:26 pm December 8, 2013 #

  2. I saw one of the neighbor boys coming back with his treasures from this event. Kid lives in a house owned by the SHA that has 2 bedrooms. Four generations of the family share the home, about 10-15 living there at one time, depending on life circumstances. The family needs a break, and more room. The smaller house was only supposed to be temporary after High Point was torn down.

    Comment by neighbor — 3:46 pm December 8, 2013 #

  3. one of my students got to go on this shopping spree~thank you rotary club!

    Comment by wsteacher — 9:06 pm December 8, 2013 #

  4. Wow this brings up so many memory’s when I was in 2nd grade at the now closed Fairmount Park Elem. In California Ave. I had the opportunity to participate in this I remember vaguely but I do remember a teenage girl had a $100 Sears card and I got to pick out some shoes and some clothes. It’s been 11yrs & for a couple yrs I’ve been trying to figure out how I could participate but I was so young I never knew what program they worked through till now. Ah and I’m too late man hopefully there is another soon.

    Comment by WsResident — 2:21 am December 9, 2013 #

  5. Thank you for all the nice comments, this is our main purpose for fund raising through the year(we do other small things, Scholarships, and student of the month two name a couple) but this is the big event for us.
    To help, you can always make a donation on our site or join our club and help us do good things all year.

    Thanks for all the community support to make this happen. It takes more than us, the Sears employees come in early, the school bus drivers and faculty donate their time, the people running the catering upstairs ( we feed the kids breakfast & lunch) and of course Santa and his elf as well as all of the fine Rotarian’s.

    Dave Nichols
    Publicity Chair
    Rotary of West Seattle

    Comment by Dave — 5:18 pm December 9, 2013 #

  6. This is Christmas. Try it next December..the first Saturday of December every year.

    Comment by Cathy Rouyer — 6:30 pm December 14, 2013 #

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