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Shop with an Eagle

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Danielle Barnes

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Toys were us
May 15, 2018

Shop with an Eagle (SWAE) is an annual event at Etowah High School where students come together to help children who are less fortunate have a better Christmas.

“SWAE was a lot of fun. The best part was seeing my kid’s face light up throughout the day,” Tyler Cortese, junior, said.

Students put in time and effort to make sure junior Eagles would have a day they would never forget.  Much had to happen before the big day to ensure its success including: fundraising, decorating the cafeteria, and collecting canned foods for the kids.

“It went really well! I had a lot of fun, and it was heartwarming to see the kids having fun, too,” Hannah Wysocki, sophomore, said.

On Friday, Dec. 1, all the students who were a part of SWAE, stayed after school to decorate the cafeteria and get everything set up. Students had different jobs depending on their grade level.  All worked together to transform the C-lobby, cafeteria, and courtyard into a winter wonderland.

“My favorite thing about SWAE was getting to experience how grateful and excited some kids were to receive presents that they got to pick out,” Kristin Denmark, junior, said.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the mentors got to school at 7:30 am. Once they arrived, they got to meet their assigned kid and eat breakfast with them. After breakfast, they all loaded on the buses to start heading to the Target shopping center.

“SWAE was such a great experience, and it was so amazing to know we were helping all of the kids be prepared for winter, and their families, as well,” Maya Gibbins, freshman, said.

Each child got $135 to spend. The groups visited several stores including Target, Kohl’s, and Old Navy. There, the mentors shopped for winter clothes and gifts specifically for their junior Eagles.

“My favorite part was seeing the smile on the kids’ faces after we bought them the clothes and toys they wanted for Christmas,” Madilynn Jordan, sophomore, said.

After shopping, students returned to Etowah where they decorated cookies, watched the drama department perform a play, and shopped for gifts donated by the PTA for their family members. While the junior Eagles were enjoying the activities, mentors wrapped the students’ gifts.

“Shop with an Eagle was an amazing experience, and I’m really glad I decided to do it! I had a fun time with my group and my child for the day. I would definitely do it again next year,” Lindsey Phillips, junior, said.

At the end of the day, when parents picked up their children, the mentors helped carry their presents and canned goods out to the cars. Etowah students tidied up ending the event, another successful SWAE.

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