Weigel’s is hosting its annual event to give 200 local underprivileged children a happy Christmas with the help of more than 400 caring volunteers who will assist in facilitating a Christmas shopping spree.
This is the 19th year that Weigel’s has teamed with the Salvation Army to bring joy and dreams to local children; an event for underprivileged children from Knoxville and the surrounding areas. The children range in age from five years old to nine years old and are each given $150 for a Christmas shopping spree at the Hall’s Kmart store on Maynardville Pike.
“Many of our volunteers come back year after year to participate in this heart-warming event,” said Kurt Weigel, training and recruiting director. “Often entire families come out to be a part of this special day, and it’s so rewarding for them to be able to assist the children with their shopping.”
Every year, the Salvation Army selects deserving children and Weigel’s organizes the event and provides funding. Since the program’s inception in 1998, it has impacted more than 3,400 children.
“It’s truly amazing to have watched this program grow. We started by bringing six kids shopping, now we invite more than 200 kids,” said Bill Weigel, chairman. “This tradition is possible only because of the gracious support of the many volunteers and vendors. This event embodies the true spirit of Christmas.”
Prior to shopping, the volunteers prepare a complimentary breakfast for the children, full of delicious treats at the Salvation Army gymnasium. Many volunteers stay back to prepare lunch for the children’s return, while other volunteers excitedly await at K Mart to meet and help the children manage the money and handpick gifts.
“The volunteers make this day possible,” Bill Weigel said. “We love watching the kids shop and seeing their faces light up. This day is filled with smiles galore and tears of joy, and it truly makes our holiday season as much as we help make theirs.”