By Brenda Maguire
NEW BRITAIN — Over the last 11 weeks, I have written a weekly story tracking the progress of the Warm the Children campaign.
Last week, I had the pleasure of participating as a volunteer shopper.
Ana Torres and I met at the Target on Hartford Road in New Britain to go shopping for her four children: Luis Sanchez, 10, Amarilys Torres, 8, Eliel Colon, 6, and Jazmin Morales, 14.
Torres had been involved in the Warm the Children campaign in the past because of her family’s financial situation.
“It means a lot for me and my children,” she said.
For the volunteer shopping, each child is allowed to have up to $50 spent on them, so Torres had $200 to work with.
The money can only be spent on winter clothing.
Amarilys got a new winter coat, hat and gloves as well as socks, underwear and pajamas.
While shopping, Torres told me stories about each child and the styles of clothing they liked. It was obvious that she was excited to shop for them.
For the two boys, Eliel and Jazmin, Torres purchased jeans, hats, gloves, pajamas, sweatpants and sweatshirts.
Jazmin was harder to shop for because the junior sizes are more expensive. Torres searched through the clearance racks and was able to buy jeans, a sweater and a fleece jacket for her.
The purchases, Torres said, will be put under the Christmas tree for her children.
Because of the heartfelt donations from the community to the campaign, Torres’s children will now have a happier and warmer Christmas.
“I feel happy, but they’re going to be more excited,” Torres said.
Warm the Children has raised $32,315, but still needs more donations to get to its goal of $40,000.
“A lot of people appreciate it because a lot of people need it,” Torres said.
Donations can be sent to Warm the Children, 1 Court St., New Britain, CT 06051.