By Brenda Maguire
NEW BRITAIN— Frank Bradley has been a volunteer shopper for six years. He’s seen just about everything from a family bringing all of their seven children along for the trip to a father who didn’t know his children’s sizes.
“I have done a few sixes and I did one seven,” Bradley said. “But, most of them are three or four.”
Erik Atkinson and Risa Bunce learned about the Warm the Children program when they were referred by their daughter’s school this year. Atkinson was laid off six months ago and Bunce is unemployed, so they welcomed the help.
“He’s making their day,” Atkinson said of Bradley, adding, “It’s definitely fun shopping. I’m a guy who likes to shop.”
The couple tossed discounted jeans, sweatpants, sweatshirts, pajamas, hats and gloves into their cart for all ten of their children, among other items.
They often picked out matching tops for the children. Because they have three sets of twins and the children are all close in age and clothing size, it was often easy to pick out the clothing.
The couple shopped for all ten children in just about two hours, while having to keep a watchful eye on their one-year-old twins Jordan and Jaydah who had come along for the trip.
“This lady is a great shopper,” Bradley said of Bunce. “If someone comes here and they’re organized and know the sizes they can get it done quickly.”
Bunce plans on using some of the clothing as Christmas gifts, while some will be given to the children right away.
“The kids will definitely be happy,” she said.
The campaign is at a total of $32,640 and is still working on getting to the goal of $40,000.
“It means a lot. We definitely appreciate it,” Bunce said.
“I hope one year when we’re straightened out we can donate to other families that are struggling.”
Donations can be sent to Warm the Children, 1 Court St., New Britain, CT 06051.