Kids go shopping during the Harlingen Rotary Club’s Christmas Closet

dfwnewsa | December 13, 2023 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News

Kids go shopping during the Harlingen Rotary Club’s Christmas Closet
The Rotary Club of Harlingen hosted its 7th annual Christmas Closet at Target on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023. (Courtesy: Rotary Club of Harlingen)

They swept through the store in the early hours, filling the aisles with their searching eyes armed with the power of generosity for a morning of shopping.

It was the 7th annual Christmas Closet service project hosted by the Rotary Club of Harlingen, and 50 kids Saturday morning were exploring Target at 1002 Dixieland Rd.

“The management at Target made sure the event ran smoothly,” said Juju Stringfield, president of the Rotary Club of Harlingen.

“They were ready at 7:30 a.m. with complimentary coffee for the volunteers and delicious hot cocoa for the young ones who were filled with excitement as they were welcomed by the drum line, the mascots and the cheerleaders from Harlingen High School South and Harlingen High School.”

Rotary Club members and community volunteers took the children through the story to do their Christmas shopping, Stringfield said.

“These students were identified by the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District as members of financially insecure households,” Stringfield said. “This year, 50 kids received $150 gift cards individually to purchase their gifts as they were assisted by their assigned volunteers.”

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The kids were visibly excited by their good fortune, Stringfield said.

“As one of the kids was leaving with a cart full of toys and other things, he was asked what he had gotten and he responded, ‘I got socks, lots of socks,’” she said. “Others were happy with dolls or the very popular books and remote controlled cars.”

This kind of infectious joy spreads itself to everyone involved.

“This is what we at the Rotary Club enjoy most, to watch those happy smiles that let us know that at that time these deserving kids feel special and cared for,” Stringfield said. “That is worth all the work and fundraising during the year.”

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