New York is a beautiful place at all times of the year, but it’s especially magical in the winter. There’s ice skating at Rockefeller Center, the ball dropping at New Years Eve, and snow falling all over the city. This year, Together We Rise wanted to add a little more magic by taking foster kids on a shopping spree for the holidays!
Over two dozen volunteers woke up early on Saturday morning to lend a hand at the New York shopping spree. Bundled up in their coats and jackets, we shivered with anticipation for the exciting day ahead. TWR staff and volunteers met at a two-story H&M store in Brooklyn to get ready for the shopping spree. Foster youth from every walk of life arrived soon after, some traveling by subway to reach the plaza. Most youth were teens and many of them traveled alone. Once everyone arrived, we paired each teen with a volunteer to help them shop til they drop.
Every participant received $100 to spend and H&M was kind enough to give each participant a 30% discount! Kids were able to cross off items their holiday wish list, including warm winter coats, snow boots, and cozy pajamas. Some even had leftover money to shop for presents for friends and family members. Though the weather was a bit of a shock for us Californians, it was a wonderfully heart-warming experience.
Thanks to our generous donors, volunteers, and company partners, we were able to help out 35 kids in foster care. Next year, we want to take even more foster youth on shopping sprees! After all, the more, the merrier.