Salvation Army & Target Hold Back to School Shopping Spree - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Salvation Army & Target Hold Back to School Shopping Spree

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RICHLAND, Wash. - It's that time of year again...back to school shopping! It's new, fun and exciting, but it can also be stressful for families who struggle to make ends meet.

That's not the case this year for 25 students in the Tri-Cities, ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade, who were given a back to school shopping spree Wednesday morning at the Target in Richland.

"These kids are incredible young people and they are very appreciative and you get to know somebody--it's just a lot of fun," said Gail Middleton, a shopping spree volunteer.

Students selected for the shopping spree were paired with volunteers from The Salvation Army, the Richland Kiwanis Club and the Columbia Center Rotary Club. They were each given $80 on a Target gift card and from there it was up to the student to decide how they wanted to spend it

Ben Patrick's 5th grade daughter, Caitlin, was one of the lucky shoppers. The father of three says back to school shopping is always a big concern for his family.

"We're a one income, low-income family," said Patrick. "I'm on disability so any help I can get is just tremendous so this here is actually a blessing," he continued.

Patrick lost his job almost two years ago and has undergone multiple spine surgeries. He says this much-needed gift shows just how much the community cares for one another.

"There is help out there for people who struggle and I didn't see it before, but I start to see it now," added Patrick.

This is the fifth year the Salvation Army and Target have partnered together to provide students in need with back to school supplies shopping.