Led by Topeka High School ROTC instructors Chief Warrant Officer Gunner Kelley and Sgt. Major Lewallen, a group of the school’s ROTC students headed to Walmart on Tuesday to shop for families in need. The Christmas Bureau supplied a list of 75 families who had not yet been adopted and United Way donated a $30 gift card for each family member in all of those families. The students also adopted six families to shop for with money they raised themselves by working at Worlds of Fun.
Hunter Hodges, a junior at THS, says “I love shopping for other people, helping people through the holidays. I love it.” Dalton Breitkreutz, a sophomore, agreed. “I think it’s a great thing we’re doing. A lot of families don’t have money…to get what they want or need. I think this is just a great way to help out the community and reach out.”
But according to Kelley and Lewallen, the families being shopped for aren’t the only ones who benefit from this experience. “It teaches the kids three things: the value of a dollar, how to budget, and most important, is (it teaches) decision-making skills.” The students will also be assisting in the delivery of the gifts, which will all be distributed by early next week.
The next project for the ROTC students will be a food drive this Saturday at HyVee on Wanamaker from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Their goal is to collect 4 tons of food in one day. If you’re out and about, please stop by and help these generous students reach their goal!