Homeless kids go shopping for Christmas | NevadaAppeal.com

Homeless kids go shopping for Christmas


Christmas came early for homeless students enrolled in Carson City schools who were treated to a shopping spree Wednesday morning at Wal-Mart.

Joe Lillie, 15, found a pair of yellow pants and a stocking cap, along with a CD player.

“They’re tight, and they’re cool,” he said, showing off his new pants to fellow students.

They were so cool, he wore them out of the store and on to lunch at Straw Hat Pizza.

The youths, ranging from age 11 to 18, were each given $50 gift cards donated by the Karson Kruzers and Harley-Davidson then taken shopping.

“This is what we work for all year,” said Jack Andersen, president of the Kruzers. “All the profits we make go to the kids for Christmas.”

The Karson Kruzers have sponsored the spree for children in the school district’s homeless program for six years. To qualify, students must be living in a hotel, motel, campground; living with a family not their own; or living with grandparents.

Phil Nagel has escorted students on their shopping spree for three years.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “You get to interact with them.

“This year, they bought a variety of stuff from stereos to paint guns to cologne.”

Some bought gifts for themselves.

“I got a lot of stuff, like a makeup kit and clothes,” said Emileigh Archer, 16.

Others shopped for their families.

Tamera Walters, 16, bought presents for her mother and brother.

“I’m excited because we haven’t had Christmas as a family in a long time,” she said. “It will be my first since I was really little.”

April Flynt, a team leader for Harley-Davidson, accompanied a group of high school students.

“They had fun. They bought what they wanted,” she said. “Afterwards, they said this was the only Christmas they were going to get. That was rewarding in itself.”

Contact Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or at 881-1272.