Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Land O'Lakes preschoolers go toy shopping for kids in need

LAND O'LAKES — Julia Lipinski walked the aisles of Kmart on Wednesday morning in search of the perfect Christmas toy. Not for herself, or even for a good friend, but for a child in need.

"If we don't shop for these kids, they won't have any toys," said Julia, 4.

Julia is one of 61 little shoppers who invaded Kmart toy aisles Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the annual Kids' Stuff Preschool charity shopping trip.

Throughout the month of November, the preschoolers earned and saved their own money for the trip to buy Christmas toys for kids served by the ABC (Assist, Believe and Care) programs at Denham Oaks and Connerton elementary schools.

"The kids did chores, they picked up toys in their room, they helped take care of their little brothers and sisters," said Isabel Trentman, Kids' Stuff teacher and coordinator of the school's annual shopping trip. "Some kids even picked up change from beneath the cushions of their parents' couches!"

A Kids' Stuff grandmother sweetened the pot by donating $100 to the project. And by the end of November, the school had raised more than $1,600 to fill the Christmas wish lists of dozens of needy children at two Pasco elementary schools.

"The need is extreme," said Trentman, whose daughter is a Denham Oaks teacher. "These are families who need the basics all year around, not just toys."

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Trentman joined Kids' Stuff teachers Kim Copher, Judy De Friese, Liz Green and Kids' Stuff director Kristy Reavis to guide the children through their shopping trip, aided by parent volunteers who helped advise the students on their choices.

"My son Tristan has been very excited about this trip," said parent volunteer Lisa Richards. "He keeps telling me that he's excited to shop for needy children."

Also excited was Avery Quatrino, who celebrated the day before her 5th birthday shopping for other children at Kmart. She picked up several toys for Trentman's inspection before deciding on a fairy doll with wings.

"This is it!" she squealed, jumping up and down as she pointed to the toy.

Connor Henson, 4, expressed a similar reaction to a very different plaything: a stuffed wrestling doll he thought would be perfect for a boy.

"It talks!" he enthused.

Along the way, Kids' Stuff teachers encouraged the kids to shop for sales and bargains, and to always shop according to the wish lists they'd be given.

"This isn't about what we want," Trentman reminded them. "This is about the kids we're helping."

They also encouraged the kids to avoid toy guns and other playthings that might be perceived as violent.

At the end of the day students came away with everything from dolls to scooters, Legos to footballs, jewelry to motorized toys. And, Trentman said, they also came away with a special feeling that can only come from giving.

"I told them that they were Santa's helpers this year," she said, adding with a smile, "One little girl told me it made her happy in the heart to help others."

Land O'Lakes preschoolers go toy shopping for kids in need 12/05/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 8:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays say they don't want to be satisfied with hovering around .500

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to briefly get back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Corey Dickerson gets a high-five from third-base coach Charlie Montoyo after tying the score at 1 with a leadoff home run to the opposite field in the first inning of Monday’s late Rays-Angels game, his 12th homer this season.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

    National

    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”