One of the best things about going back to school was when your parents took you for back to school clothes. You’d get to pick out a bunch of stuff and then couldn’t wait to show it off on the first day of school. Usually, you bought things that would last through the winter. And, so there you set off with your hoodie, jeans, and long sleeve top with the temperature hovering around 85F. You were sweating, but you thought you looked cool.
What if your family had no money? What if you’d grown out of everything, but your parents couldn’t afford to buy replacements? Back to School meant showing up in hand me downs.
Mervyn’s Department Stores, which are nationwide, has tried to make a difference. A special fund is set up by the department store chain and this year 11,000 kids aged 5-15 got a Mervyn’s shopping spree. Each child was given $100 plus 10 percent off–all sales tax free. The kids were encouraged to bring a shopping list of needed items. No parents were allowed as they tend to be disruptive. Then they were assigned to an assistant whose job was to find what they liked but get them the most bang for their buck.
This is the 17th year that Mervyn’s has participated in the Back to School shopping spree. While they can’t help every child in need, there are 11,000 kids who’ll be beaming in their new clothes come the first day of school.