The Alexandria Jaycees took 50 children, who otherwise may have missed out on giving Christmas gifts this year, on a shopping spree in the waking hours of Saturday morning.
Once the elementary-aged kids understood that the $50 limit could not buy a Nintendo Wii, all was well at the Target on Jefferson Davis Highway.
We do this every year so the kids can participate in Christmas like the rest of their classmates, said Harry Schroeder, president of the community service organization. We try to get them to buy presents for their families but we allow them sometimes to buy presents for themselves.
Nermine, 7, said she doesnt usually get much if anything for Christmas. The event was a chance to get her parents gifts and give one to herself if there was enough money left over.
Ali, 9, said his family does not celebrate Christmas, but he shopped for a pair of gloves for his mother.
The thing is, you give to other people, Councilwoman Alicia Hughes, who volunteered Saturday, told Nermine. And they may give you something nice in return, and everything feels good.
Aside from Hughes, Vice Mayor Kerry Donley and city councilmen Frank Fannon and Rob Krupicka joined the Jaycees volunteers.