COLORADO SPRINGS — As kids gear up to go back to school, the Salvation Army Colorado Springs wants to help families save a few dollars.
The organization is holding its annual back to school shopping spree on August 14th at JcPenny Citadel Mall. 100 kids in need will each receive $100 to shop for new school clothes, shoes, and other needed items for the upcoming school year.
"I decided to start raising funds for the shopping spree because I felt like there are a bunch of kids who aren't able to buy clothes and this is an opportunity for them to buy clothes," said Klipp.
The ten-year-old has been spending the last couple of weeks of summer trying to raise funds for the event.
"I've raised $1,200, and I'm trying to raise $5,000. I'm just trying to do what God told me to do. I got a feeling to do it because people will need it more than me," said Klipp. "It brings me joy doing this because I've always liked fundraising for people. For a couple of my birthdays, I've done fundraisers for Ambassadors for the Nation which is a good place to donate. It just makes me happy to know that I'm helping people."
Klipp is getting creative with fundraising efforts, even creating a flyer with his goal of $5,000 and a QR code to his website where people can donate.
"I'm asking people for venmo donations or for cash and check donations," said Klipp.
"School clothing seems to get more expensive every year. As a single mom, knowing that the Salvation Army has been here to help my little man get ready for school has been a blessing," said Robin Baugh.
She's among many parents who rely on the annual back to school event.
"Owen probably wouldn't have gotten brand new clothes every year. Probably hand me downs which is fine, but knowing that he gets brand new clothes that are just his means the world to me," said Baugh. "Each of the kids gets their own shopping buddy so it's a little more fun for him because he doesn't have the pressure of shopping with his mom. They truly get to pick out some outfits of their own and their shopping makes sure they get everything on the list."
Baugh says she's grateful for the Salvation Army and the support it offers each year.
"The Salvation Army not only does this program every year, but it offers so much support to the community. Twice a week they are giving away food baskets, giving away help for utilities, and sometimes rent. Every single dollar that is donated to this place goes to an amazing purpose," said Baugh.
The Salvation Army Colorado Springs hopes to raise $10,000 for the shopping spree this year, but it's been challenging getting donations.
"Market insecurity or market volatility has caused people who've been donors in the past to wonder and pause before making the donation," said Captain Doug Hanson, Salvation Army Colorado Springs. "If people want to support the program and donate on our website, you can help fund or sponsor a child for just $100."
Hanson hopes the community will step up to help make the event happen.
"It is a huge need. We've gone to this program in the morning as we're doing the final registration for families and mothers are crying when they see the brand new clothes. I've seen families come with a thank you card to the Salvation Army. We don't do it for the thanks, but it's nice to know how much value the families see in these programs," said Hanson.
The shopping spree making a big difference in the lives of parents and kids.
"To me, it means they can get a fresh start, and new things they can wear," said Klipp.
The Salvation Army says there is still time to be a part of the shopping spree, but the waitlist is filling up quickly. Anyone interested in learning more about the programs or donating to the organization can visit their website.