CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – The annual James C. Archbell Kidz Kruz is back after a short hiatus because of COVID.
On Sunday, around 900 local students filled were bussed to the Walmart, located at 201 Hillcrest Parkway in Chesapeake, for a holiday shopping spree.
“They will never forget it,” Sunday Hill, the JCA Foundation Marketing and Promotion Director said. “Each student receives a $30 gift card. They can shop for whatever they want.”
During the event, teachers from area schools were going around the store and helping students pick out their favorite toys.
“The kids are excited. They are picking out gifts. They are running around. They are like ‘oh, I want this. I want this,'” Stephanie Wilson, a fifth-grade teacher at Southwestern Elementary School teacher, said. “We bring positive light every single day. We want our kids to be happy. This brings even more happiness outside of school.”
Santa also paid the kids a visit.
This event was sparked after James Archbell asked a teacher if she wanted to take her class to Busch Gardens. The teacher had another idea.
“No, we don’t need Busch Garden. We need textbooks. The kids need shoes,” Hill said.
That’s when Archbell countered her offer and came up with another idea.
“Let’s do a field trip. It ended up to be where it is now,” she said.
The JCA foundation makes sure there isn’t a shortage of surprises for the kids, with the first surprise being the shopping spree. While the kids were shopping, bikes and scooters were loaded under the bus. The foundation held a drawing for the hot new rides that the kids could participate in.
The last surprise was a ride through the Holiday Lights at the Beach. The buses filled with kids received a police escort.
“We bring positive light every single day. We want our kids to be happy. This brings even more happiness outside of school,” Wilson said.
Gifts weren’t the only things the kids left with. The JCA Foundation also provided pizza, snacks, and drinks as well as t-shirts and hoodies for the kids.