by Eloise Montemayor .. Community Relations/Public Sector Associate
Target employees at the
Back to School "In Style" Shopping Spree
from left to right:
Ismael Resendez; Alice De La Garza; Dania Perez;
Janessa Rodriguez; and intern Jordan Gutierrez.
In August, United Way held its annual Back
to School "In Style" Shopping Spree at Target
in Mission for one hundred and twenty Junior
High students selected by counselors from
various districts. Each student received $150
worth of school clothing and personal hygiene
items. Additionally, Target donated backpacks
filled with school supplies.
This annual event is made possible for students
in need through the contributions from
United Way's generous supporters. United
Way awards the same opportunity to eighteen
school districts in Hidalgo and Starr counties
that support United Way's programs. Then
United Way works with these districts on a rotating
basis to meet their students' needs. This
year, the following school districts participated
in the shopping spree: McAllen I.S.D., Mercedes
I.S.D., Mission C.I.S.D., Monte Alto
I.S.D., Rio Grande City C.I.S.D., Roma I.S.D.,
Sharyland I.S.D., South Texas I.S.D., and Valley
"I see [the shopping spree] as a wonderful
opportunity," said Lorena Anzaldua, McAllen
I.S.D Special Services. "Some children don't
have any new clothing to start the new year.
That's what kids look forward to. They want
something new to wear. But they don't get
anything because there's certain things that the family has to pay for: light, gas, food, rent. So,
this (shopping spree) is going to make a huge
impact on the children, so they can at least
start at the same level with everybody else.
It helps that child's self image, their self esteem."
Target Store Manager Dania Perez and HR
Manager Alice De La Garza, along with the
rest of the Target team, were instrumental in
helping to make the event a huge success. United
Way's partnership with Target demonstrates
the organizations' ongoing work to develop
stronger and self-sufficient families in our area.
Furthermore, United Way company supporters
from around the community served as
"Shopping Buddies" to assist the students with
their purchases. These Shopping Buddies
were volunteers from the following companies:
City of McAllen, Elsa State Bank, Fed EX,
Frost Bank, GE Aviation, H-E-B, IBC, Infinity
Insurance, Inter National Bank, Magic Valley
Electric Co-op, Navy Army Community Credit
Union, Plains Capital Bank, Rio Grande City
C.I.S.D. and Rio Grande City Police Department,
Roma I.S.D., Security Service Federal
Credit Union, Shepard Walton King Insurance
Group, Starr County, Target, Texas Regional
Bank, U.S.D.A.-ARS, U.S. Border Patrol, and
Wells Fargo Bank.
Student volunteers from Advanced Barber
College in Weslaco, TX also contributed to the
success of the event by providing free haircuts
for participants. We thank all supporters and
volunteers for their time and donations.
"There aren't enough words to express our
gratitude," said Lorena Anzaldua. "These families
are very appreciative for any help that is
provided to them. We thank all of the people that donate, all of
the people who contribute to this program because
it does make a difference. Thank You!"