Although this marks the 16th year of the event, it is the third year the Kiwanis Club has handled it after taking it over from the Douglas County Optimist Club.
The activity provides needy youngsters with $100 in donated money to go Christmas shopping for themselves and their families at the Walmart on Ga. Hwy. 5. The children are accompanied by an adult from the Douglasville police or fire department or a member of the city council, on their shopping spree.
“We would like to provide this shopping experience to at least 100 children this year and would love to have enough donations to help 125 children go Christmas shopping,” Delahoy said, adding that 100 percent of all donations go directly to the youngsters.
This year’s shopping event is scheduled for Dec. 19 at 8:30 a.m.
As the children are accompanied on their shopping spree by an adult, Delahoy said the Kiwanis Club encourages the youngster’s family to stay home.
Delahoy said one of her fondest memories of past Kid’s Christmas Special events came just last year when a little girl went straight to the baby area at Wal-Mart and purchased diapers for her infant baby brother.
Although the program does not allow youngsters to purchase any large items, the youngsters use the money to purchase Christmas gifts for themselves and their families, such as toys and clothes.
Each youngster’s shopping spree usually lasts 30 to 45 minutes with the entire program lasting about two hours for the assembled youngsters, Delahoy said. “We have discovered that boys shop more quickly than girls as girls take more time deciding on a gift and often change their minds,” she said.
The shopping experience has proven to be as enjoyable to the adults accompanying the youngsters as it is to the children themselves.
Last year, Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons and District 67 state Rep. Micah Gravley, R-Douglasville, helped chaperone two children taking part. Delahoy said most of the youngsters take their Christmas wish lists with them on the shopping spree so they won’t forget anything or anyone.
“This is a very special event for the youngsters because, for many, this would be the only Christmas shopping they would be able to do,” she said.
For more information, call (404) 862-8476.