On December 14th, the Alpine School District Foundation held its inaugural Caring at Christmas shopping event for junior high students in Orem. More than 40 students came from three different schools to be served and supported by volunteer mentors/shopping buddies at the Target in Orem.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, each student was able to purchase needed clothing, shoes, and a few fun items or gifts for family members. Target donated stockings and candy and private donors supplied hygiene products to help fill each stocking. Chick-fil-A of American Fork provided students and volunteers a complementary chicken biscuit breakfast sandwich.
As the adult shopping buddies accompanied the deserving students, they gently urged the youth to buy necessities for themselves before they purchased gifts for family members. The students were gracious and kind in expressing their appreciation and the shopping buddies raved about the experience as they noted how much they are already hoping to do it again next year.
Tyler Vigue, Executive Director of the Alpine School District Foundation said, “My hope would be to double the number of students next year and hopefully expand the impact throughout the district and continue to grow each year as needed.”
One of the adult shopping buddies said, “When some of the kids checking out were expressing appreciation for the donated hygiene products and noting how much they needed soap at their homes, I knew we were helping the people who really need it this holiday season.”
Volunteers arrived at Target at about 7 a.m. Saturday and were matched with students who had been chosen due to economic need or other difficult personal circumstances. “Some of our adult shopping buddies commented to me that even while the students they were helping were supposed to be shopping for themselves, they were actually focused the whole time on their families and how this experience would impact their families,” said Vigue.
According to Vigue, many patrons within the boundaries of the Alpine School District are not aware of the many students who are in need during the holidays and throughout the year. “The Alpine School District is the largest district in the state and our demographics reflect a lot more economic and other diversity than people sometimes realize. This program is only a small part of all of the ways we are able to help families this holiday season through some amazing generosity that comes from a lot of different places. We are so grateful for a community that recognizes the needs that exist and where people are so ready and willing to open up their pocketbooks and give so generously.”
To donate to the Alpine School District Foundation, call Tyler Vigue at 801-610-8425.