When you do good things for others, positive things will happen.
It’s a lesson that the staff of the Griffin Child Development Center of Southington try to teach their students everyday, but as Susan Foran’s preschool class began shopping for an unnamed 2-year-old they adopted for the holiday, the received an unexpected surprise that will make the child’s Christmas extra special.
Foran was shopping at Kohl’s for the child, which the class “adopted” from Southington Community Services as part of a holiday gift giving program, when a Kohl’s representative approached her and asked for her receipt.
“She asked me if I knew what the ‘Dream Receipt Sweepstakes’ was I said yes. That’s when she told me I was a winner,” said Foran, who had just purchased various clothing and new bedding for the adopted child.
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“I was shocked. It was just so unexpected and I told the girl ‘I feel like won lottery.’ We tell our kids all the time that when you do good, then good things are going to happen and this is a great example. I went back in with the money and we were able to buy him twice as many things because of it.”
Carol Smith, director of the center, said it was just the type of good luck and charity that the students needed to help see how much of a different their volunteerism can make.
The holiday gift adoption is a program that the school has taken part of for more than a decade. The students, ages 3-5, go through the entire process of getting a child their age, creating individual ornaments that are then sold off to parents, family members and others in the community to raise money to use in helping purchase the gifts, Smith said.
The money is then used as the kids take a field trip to nearby CVS and Walgreens to pick out gifts for the child. Foran shops for what can’t be purchased at the store with the children, this year going to Kohl’s where she won the sweepstakes.
The students even help wrap the gifts themselves, Foran said.
Arela Pasha and Wyatt McCorkel, both 4-years-old, said they had a lot of fun picking out toys and think the adopted 2-year-old is going to have a great holiday.
“He’s two so there’s a lot of toys we got him,” McCorkel said. “We got him two games. We got him a Mickey Mouse. We got him a truck with a rock on top of the truck. I think he will be really happy.”
“We were getting tired. It was hard work,” said Pasha. “It was fun, we were like Santa’s elves.”
Smith and Foran said the students have taken great interest and responsibility in being part of the program and are happy to be able give back.
“The teachers explain to the kids how they get to go home and play with a bunch of toys, how they have nice clothes to wear,” Smith said. “It doesn’t take much; we don’t even have to ask. The kids step up themselves and say they want to help. It’s amazing.”
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