By Reissa Decena, Corps Member, Walmart Team at Stevenson Middle School

As dedicated members of City Year, we are accustomed to developing large scale programs and conducting our all day every day work with a combination of in-kind resources, financial support and a bit of magic.  

As part of the Walmart team at Stevenson Middle School, we are already so grateful for the support that the company provides to City Year, and when our program manager told us that a shopping expedition was going to happen, we were thrilled! For any of the 22 City Year teams, getting $750 to put towards buying needed materials is just a fantasy.  For our team at Stevenson, this dream had just become a reality.

Last week, a group of us drove to the Panaroma City Walmart for a carefully planned shopping spree. After hours passed, we emerged with three shopping carts full of goodies and supplies, including poster paint, school and cleaning supplies, gift cards, and utensils. We felt very fortunate to have these materials for two upcoming  events, the Teacher and Staff Appreciation Breakfast, and Winter Wonderland.  As a result of Walmart’s generosity, we were able put on the breakfast and a small raffle for the hardworking teachers and staff that we work with.  The plates, cups, and napkins were also incredibly helpful and will be great for our cookie decoration booth at Winter Wonderland.

Our students appreciated the new stock of scissors, glue sticks, and colored pencils they now can use for homework and projects in our After School Program.  Cleaning supplies were some of our team’s most desired items and we recently used these to do a deep-cleaning of our room to welcome our students as well as prospective City Year members touring our school.  With the help of our new poster paint, we’re sure our advertisements for Winter Wonderland will look bright and fresh!

As grateful as I am for the materials, it was my team members’ reactions that brought the greatest joy.  Their smiles beamed at me from across the parking lot, and a collective murmur of satisfaction went up when we revealed the bags nestled in the trunk. Although I’m sure they were curious to see what we had brought, our team made sure to acknowledge all of us who had gone out on the trip first.  I noticed the care my team members took when handling the materials; we wanted to make these gifts last.

At the end of the day, the shopping spree was amazing and I am so grateful to be part of the Walmart team at Stevenson!So, what really happens when you put a gift-card worth $750 in the hands of four City Year members and drive them to a Walmart?  Well, we at Stevenson Middle School were lucky enough to find out.

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