West Seattle Rotary and hundreds of helpers give the gifts of fun and warmth @ Children’s Shopping Spree

(WSB photos/video)

Still think Santa Claus just shows up in the middle of the night? On this day every year – the first Saturday in December – hundreds of Santas rise very early, not to drop off gifts and fly away, but to escort local kids through a wonderland of dining and shopping, during the Rotary Club of West Seattle-organized Children’s Shopping Spree.

Southcenter Mall was the location again this year, since it has the nearest Sears, fourth Shopping Spree since the old location in SODO closed. Organizers and volunteers gathered long before dawn, getting their instructions from Rotarian Josh Sutton:

They cheered for each group of kids arriving on school buses from West Seattle:


Pairs of volunteers are matched with kids:

And it’s off to breakfast:

Some shopping happens inside Sears.

Some, at tables stacked with socks and coats:

The gifts are bought via Rotary donations and fundraisers. And the time given by members and volunteers is priceless. Some of the groups represented this morning included Alpha Kappa Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, Kappa Alpha Psi, Zeta Phi Beta, Delta Upsilon Omega, Omega Delta Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, and UW Rotaract. Even Seattle Lutheran High School basketball players!

And as noted on the Rotary page featuring the history of the Shopping Spree – which goes back 45 years! – school administrators and counselors are a big part of the morning’s success too. Schools represented this year included Lafayette, Roxhill, Concord, Genesee Hill elementaries, and Pathfinder K-8.

4 Replies to "West Seattle Rotary and hundreds of helpers give the gifts of fun and warmth @ Children's Shopping Spree"

  • Disasterdave December 2, 2017 (4:29 pm)

    Thank you for the nice coverage of our event.  

  • Ann A West Seattle Rotarian December 2, 2017 (7:06 pm)

         Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who made this a great event and to the Blog for the excellent coverage.

  • Brenda Dimond December 2, 2017 (9:19 pm)

    Congratulations West Seattle Rotary for organizing a wonderful project! Truly ” Making A Difference” for many young people! And a wonderful out pouring of support! 

    Brenda Dimond, Family of Rotary

    Rotary Club of the University District



  • JesseTam December 7, 2017 (12:06 am)

    Thanks to West Seattle Rotary and all the volunteers for “Making A Difference” in all they do for the community.  Congrats on another great project.  

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