Finding new duds for kids in need |

Finding new duds for kids in need

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal Katie, 8, struggles to try on new shoes while Rene Langson, a Kiwanis volunteer, organizes Katie's pile of clothing and discarded pile of shoes. The two were shopping during the ChildSpree event Saturday morning at Mervyn's. The event allowed 90 underprivileged children the opportunity to get a $100 worth of new school clothes.

It’s every little girl’s dream. Access to a department store before it opens, an adult chaperone who isn’t a parent and a $100 gift certificate with her name on it.

Saturday morning 6-year-old Vivian was among the 90 children who saw that dream come true.

The Salvation Army, in cooperation with Mervyn’s and Carson City Kawanis Club, put on the ChildSpree event, allowing 90 underprivileged children the opportunity to get new school clothes.

Vivian was being escorted by Pam McClusky and was in search of some new shoes – black ones with little pink rhinestones. She wanted them to be a little pink to match the Hello Kitty outfit she had picked just minutes before.

“I like Hello Kitty,” the shy 6-year-old said.

Further down the aisle, 8-year-old Katie was facing a decision of her own, the blue or the pink Sketchers?

Escort Rene Langson said she enjoyed being able to help get Katie ready for school.

“I have a boy, so this is different. She has favorite colors and she likes outfits and sparkly things. It’s fun for me too,” Langson said.

Over in the boy’s section, 7-year-old Sergio wanted a hoodie to go with his new Ocean Pacific 5-0s, before he and escort Ted Zuend headed off to fulfill another need.

“I like the ones that zip up,” Sergio said. ” They say I need more underwear.”

As the line for the dressing room grew, 10-year-old Azucema and her escort Megan Walsh, were adding to the already full pile of clothes.

“We are looking for things to make everything match, because we are the best shoppers ever,” Walsh said.

Salvation Army Capt. Erica Helton said they provide the shopping day to help kids start off on the right foot this school year.

“There’s a need in this community to do this for families that can’t afford the extras when you are dealing with going back to school,” Helton said.

The Kawanis Club provided 114 volunteers to help the kids stock up on pants, socks, shoes, shirts and other essentials for school. Once the children checked out, they were given breakfast and a backpack full of school supplies.

“This is my favorite project to do all year. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning,” Rita Carman, Kawanis event coordinator, said. “The members really stepped up and got people out here to help. My faith in people is just soaring.”

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.