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Dozens of Big Country students rewarded with shopping spree at JCPenney through local youth organization


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB / KRBC) – Almost 100 Abilene students will be flaunting the school halls this coming week with a whole new look, thanks to a shopping spree for some students.

For many kids across the big country, the stress of being in school during the COVID-19 pandemic is tough enough. When you add the economic challenges that many families face, some students find it difficult to keep their heads up and their spirits up.

On Saturday morning, Communities in Schools of the Big Country regrouped with JCPenney at the Mall of Abilene for an annual student shopping event, just in time for the holiday season.

Over 80 students had the chance to shop with the $ 100 awarded to them by the program, as well as an additional 30% discount on their purchases.

One student said she had never been to JCPenney before and was very excited to be able to shop for herself.

Communities in Schools of the Big Country executive director Paul Wallace said the event allows economically disadvantaged students to purchase new clothes. For some, Wallace said, it’s something they’ve never been able to do.

“It’s really fun to see the joy in their eyes and on their faces when they choose something for themselves, that they have chosen and that they want. And we have the joy of giving them this opportunity.

Paul Wallace, Executive Director,
Communities in schools across the country

Abilene mother of four, Emily Pruitt, said out of 30 students in her son’s class, he and two others were chosen.

Pruitt explained, “When they called me up and said, it was so unexpected … and like [shocked] soufflé. I didn’t even know they were doing something like this so it’s really awesome of them.

Cooper High School sophomore Alexia Brandon said she was excited and already planning her new outfits for next week at school.

“I’ve been really blessed because we can’t do this, we don’t go out a lot, but we do it at the same time,” Brandon said. “So every time we go out we have to spend a lot of money. We are already trying to find a new house as it is, so it helps a lot.

The event not only succeeded in giving back to some students in need, but encouraged others to donate so that more students could be included in future shopping events.

With a big smile, “Thanks, JC Penney, for letting us do this,” applauded Brandon. “Because we are so grateful. “

The JCPenney store in Abilene participates in the JCP Foundation Roundup event, where customers can round their purchases to the next dollar. The extra money goes to various charities, as does Communities in Schools of the Big Country.

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