I am not embarrassed to report that the Chicks will shop for the best deal we can get for the big School Supply Giveaway. Sometimes it’s our liquidation wholesaler, sometimes it’s an Internet deal and sometimes it’s a big box retailer. Well, of course, this feeds right into Betsy’s shopping addiction. She tried a self-imposed “no shopping” moratorium once and she did pretty well but ultimately fell off the wagon over, I believe, a new pair of shoes.

This year, as it turns out, our best deal was Target. So Betsy sets off one day last week to scour the aisles for the best prices. And she goes to one Target and asks if she can buy in bulk. And do you know what they said? They told her she could only buy the quantity of notebooks, pencils or whatever that were on display. Really? We are ready to make a substantial purchase and you don’t want to sell to us? So Betsy spends about $800

at that Target and then she tries another. Tale of two Targets. The second Target was more than happy to fill up Betsy’s multiple carts with as many supplies as she could fit and then help her load them into her SUV.

Now, I understand that retailers must forecast the number of “back to school” items to stock based on previous sales from seasons past. And they don’t want their customers arriving for supplies disappointed that there are none. I understand that. But let’s just put this in raw dollars. At the second Target, we spent more than $2,000. And I’ll bet you the very smart manager at the second store made one phone call to Target’s distribution center and had everything restocked the next day if not before.

We take the school supply giveaway very seriously. There are many such giveaways around this time of year. And every student who receives supplies deserves them. But we target the most extreme, at-risk students identified through our partner agencies. We go after the kids who really will show up at school without a backpack, notebooks, pencils and even socks and underwear. Seventy-five percent of students in Metro schools are on free or reduced lunch. There aren’t enough school supplies in all of Tennessee to make it right for these children.

So, thanks Target Two. You made our job a whole lot easier. And we’ll remember your store next year. Oh, yes we will.


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