Little shoppers score good deals

Published 9:54 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A line of 4-year-old students at Suffolk Christian Academy attempted to stand still outside of a classroom that had been transformed into a miniature shopping experience.

Suffolk Christian’s Parent Teacher Fellowship and volunteers set up tables around a room and covered them in small gifts and knick-knacks to prepare for their annual three-day-long Little Shoppers event.

The tables were filled with an assortment of items ranging from coffee mugs, scarves and bath sets to flashlights, back massagers and bouncy balls.

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The young children were escorted around the room with little shopping bags by the volunteers, some with lists in hand, and they thoughtfully decided what family member would get each present, though they tended to forget by the time they had to check out.

Little Olivia Sims, 4, was astonished at the selection.

“Look at how many things I got,” she said as she showed off her almost-overflowing shopping bag. “It might be a little heavy.”

Kids were able to buy armfuls of items because they were priced anywhere from $2 to $5, and it allowed them to sometimes sneak a few gifts for themselves.

Olivia grabbed a bouncy ball that lit up and declared that it was hers for Christmas and excitedly shook the bag after it was wrapped by the volunteers. Even though she got herself a little gift, she was more excited about the gifts for her family.

“I’m so excited to give to everyone,” she said.

The Parent Teacher Fellowship has been holding this event for more than a decade and, even though it doesn’t raise the most money, they are still happy to do it every year.

“The kids look forward to shopping on their own, and the gifts are wrapped here, so they get to have a surprise for their families,” said volunteer coordinator Heather Miller.

Having the yearly holiday event also lets the volunteers spend time with the kids, who range from 3-year-old kindergarten to fifth grade.

“It’s great being able to interact with the kids. You get to be the one that does something fun with them, so they like you,” Miller said.

The volunteers also enjoy seeing the kids come in and want to shop for someone else.

The older students will have a chance to peruse the store later this week, and families are welcome to come in Wednesday after school until 4 p.m. to shop with their children.