The local Knights of Columbus hosted their annual Shop with a Knight program on Friday, Dec. 14, during which they helped 50 area children get presents they might otherwise not have been able to open on Christmas morning.
The group raises funds each year through their post-Thanksgiving auction, which are then used to take between 50 and 60 children shopping.
This year’s auction raised approximately $8,000, according to Joe Reuther, of Clarkson, who is a member of the Knights and enjoys participating in the program each year.
Around $150 is spent on each child, and any funds which are leftover are donated to local non-profit community organizations, Reuther explained.
Wal-Mart helps out each year by welcoming the group and setting aside two registers for their check-out.
Prior to this year’s shopping, the kids met up at Grayson County Middle School for a pizza party where Santa was present to take photos with the children.
After the party, kids were paired up with a volunteer shopping buddy, and got down to the business of picking out their own Christmas gifts.
Each child was allowed to choose one toy, and the rest of the money was to be spent on clothing, shoes, or other essentials.
Throughout the store, you could find the Knight’s of Columbus volunteers in their bright blue “Shop with a Knight” shirts helping children to try on new shoes and search for just the right outfit or their favorite toy.
The excitement was clear in not only the children’s eyes, but also in those of the volunteers.
“We get just as much out of it as the kids do!” Reuther smiled.