The West Austin Rotary Club once again hosted 23 children from Wooldridge Elementary on a Christmas Clothing Shopping Spree on Sunday, December 2.  They have been hosting the Spree for more than 20 years. 
Each year we ask the teachers at the school to nominate children most in need.  We then ask their parents to provide a list of clothing items and sizes that the children need.  Wooldridge Elementary has a student body that is 96 percent economically disadvantaged.  For many of these children, it is the first time they have picked out their own clothes.
We pair each child with a Rotarian or Rotarian friend shopper.  We meet at the school, the school district provides a bus, and off to the JC Penney’s at Lakeline Mall we go. Once at Penny’s, each of the pairs takes off in search of style and loot.  The Penney’s staff have been wonderful over the years; providing a break room, cookies, juice, discounts and more. 
The teachers report that on the Monday following the Spree, the children dress themselves proudly in their new clothes.  We fund this project with a mix of DAP grant assistance, our own fundraising, and for the last few years matching funds from various foundations and individuals.
The West Austin Club will be happy to work with any other District 5870 club that wishes to establish a Christmas Shopping Spree for economically disadvantaged  students in the their local school district.