The Sandpipers organization has completed its annual Back-to-School shopping event, providing 75 kids in need with school supplies, clothing, and more.
This is the 21st year for the Sandpipers' shopping event, although this year looked significantly different from years past.
In non-pandemic years, every Sandpipers volunteer is partnered with a child and is allowed 1.5 hours to shop. This year, the volunteers were not able to have the children with them and instead used detailed shopping lists completed by each child, to shop for them during our allotted time.
"It was terrific that we were able to maintain this beloved tradition, even during the challenges created by the pandemic," said Micall Weinberg, the Sandpipers' director of public relations.
Weinberg continued: "This program is such an important one to us because going back to school should be such a happy time for everyone. All of the kids that participate are always so excited and thankful for their new clothes and supplies. They can’t stop smiling the entire time they are shopping. Even though they were not able to join in on the shopping, their excitement was no less when they came to pick up their boxes this year. Over and over again we heard 'This is all for me?!'"
All told, the group served 75 children between the ages of 6 and 12, from ten local agencies.
Each of the children received up to $240 worth of school clothing from Kohl’s. Additionally, they each received a backpack loaded with essential items including pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, scissors, glue sticks, highlighters, a pencil case, coloring pencils, crayons, markers, composition notebooks, loose leaf paper, index cards, folders, hand sanitizer, and tissues.
All funding for the school supplies and backpacks came from the Sandpipers budget for 2020-21. Omicron Engineering donated all of the boxes and tape to package the backpacks and the school clothes purchased at Kohl’s.
Sandpipers Continue Partnership with Kohl's
This year's shopping experience brought together a total of 81 Sandpipers volunteers. The volunteers broke down into five different shifts, with 15 to 17 volunteers at each shift.
As it has done in years past, the Kohl’s (in Torrance at Crenshaw and PCH) opened its doors early and allowed the Sandpipers exclusive use of the store. Kohl offered the group tax-free shopping, along with 20% off most items (excluding some higher end brand names).
Additionally, Kohl’s allowed the group to schedule the event during their Kohl’s cash earning period, so for every $25 the group spent, they received $5 in Kohl’s cash. This equates to nearly $3,000 that the group will be able to use for its next philanthropy event - providing holiday baskets to local families in need.
“This is one of my favorite days of the year," said Sandpipers member and volunteer Ellen Robbins. "Having the opportunity to go back-to-school shopping for a child in need, and sharing with them the excitement of getting new things and preparing for the school year, is so incredibly special and heartwarming. Thanks to our members and our amazing partner Kohl’s, we are truly making a difference in the lives of these kids.”
Sandpipers is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to serving the
needs of the South Bay community of Los Angeles through charitable and
philanthropic programs, with 100% of proceeds going to those in need in
the community. With more than 800 volunteer members, Sandpipers has
raised and distributed more than $2.2 million dollars in the past five
years. These funds have been disbursed to those most in need in the
South Bay community of Los Angeles through Sandpipers’ various programs such as emergency casework, back-to-school shopping, holiday baskets, college scholarships,
and community grants. For more information, visit www.sandpipers.org.