Cody Thomas got more than a new wardrobe and a backpack of school supplies at this year's Kidzshop spree. MasterCuts gave him a fresh fall 'do as well.
The styling salon is the latest sponsor to join the annual back-to-school shopping event, which took place Saturday at Heritage Mall.
Volunteers took 288 children shopping this year, courtesy of Altrusa, which organizes the event, and a host of contributing sponsors.
Children found clothes at Old Navy and Sears, stopped by PayLess for new shoes and picked up filled backpacks from representatives of Coastal Farms. Then some, including Cody, 10, and his sister Andrea, 7, let MasterCuts manager and stylist Kella Arneson shape their locks for the first day of school.
It takes nearly $29,000 to provide the school clothes, and demand continues to grow, said Kris Shumaker, Altrusa co-chairwoman. This year, the organization placed greater emphasis on middle-school children, the age when fashion and peer pressure become particularly critical, in both senses of the word.
Members also asked participating agencies to branch out to families that haven't had a chance to shop before.
"We just want to reach more," Shumaker said. "If people help us raise the money, we can take more kids shopping next year."
Altrusa's main Kidzshop fundraiser is an auction in March. But donations are welcome at any time, Shumaker said, and can be directed to the Altrusa mailing address, P.O. Box 1815, Albany, OR 97330.