About 180 children in the Jacksonville area foster care system were given a $300 gift card Saturday morning to use at the retailer J.C. Penney. The children, who have been placed with relatives or other caregivers, enjoyed clothing prices at the department store slashed by as much as 70 percent.
"It's just wonderful. It's just amazing," said foster parent Leasa Britton. "It's a blessing"
Britton said this may have been the only opportunity for her to get something nice for her foster grand daughter.
"I'm trying to get some winter things for next year, but I'm mostly getting summer things, shoes and panties," said Britton. One of the things Britton's foster grand daughter enjoyed the most was her new Dora the Explorer backpack.
"We get more out of it here, working here, than the children do, which is hard to believe," J.C. Penney store manager Kathie Qudisek told Channel 4.
The kids got to try on shirts, pants, shorts and shoes.
Family Support Services sponsored Saturday's shopping spree. FSS's Chuck Young said a lot of foster families are strapped cash and often have to choose between buying clothing or putting food on the table.
"Sometimes when parents have to make a choice, they'll cut out the clothing, because they have to pay for the food," said Young. "So we're helping them out with back to school and clothing."
This was the second year Family Support Services organized the shopping spree. And although Summer Vacation just started, organizers said they hope this giveaway takes care of all the back to school items these kids desperately need.