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Last week, I spoke about my involvement with the Disney Champion for Kids campaign where I was to select a child deserving of a Christmas stocking filled with Disney themed items.  We started out with the intention to purchase items for two children at a local elementary school which has a large population of families who are in need.  A local realtor friend approached us and asked if we would help him provide for a family whose sole support for 7 children was from the mother, a single parent.  We decided as a family that all 7 children needed our help, and therefore, created a stocking for two of the children close in age to my oldest (7 and 4 years old), then purchased essential items like toothbrushes, shampoo, hats, gloves and blankets for the rest of the family, along with some fun Disney themed toys and trinkets for under the tree.

We found out the ages, sizes and needs of the kids.  I knew what was important to provide a family who needed everything, especially with small children.  I found myself having a hard time determining where to stop as I wanted to provide them with everything.  But, we set a budget and I had to be realistic.  I also remembered that other families were helping out, so that made it easier to be satisfied with our purchases.  I brought my two older kids and my mother-in-law to help shop for the family.
We are huge Disney fans at our house, so it we were very excited to discover stocking stuffers for the Disney Champion for Kids project at Wal-Mart.  From Disney brand clothing items like sweatshirts, t-shirts, underwear, hats, gloves and scarves to all kind of toys, movies, games and books, we have it all!  The better question would be what doesn’t our family love and use that’s a Disney product.  My twins were gifted the Rockin’ Mickey for Christmas and they love it! My kids also use the Listerine Phineas and Ferb mouthwash, the Oral B toothpaste and toothbrushes (Princesses and Cars of course!), and my daughter’s room is adorned with the Disney Princesses and Fairies collections on just about anything you can imagine.
The Wal-Mart closest to me is especially crowded, and things are constantly being moved around, so I don’t feel confident walking into the store as I know it’s going to take me awhile to get my bearings.  I also find the parking lot intimidating because it’s not easy to park, you seriously have to be there before the doors open to get a spot anywhere near the store.  It is also uncomfortable walking through the parking lot, especially when alone or with my kids because there are often many solicitors asking for money, and they are not afraid to approach you while getting into your car.  It is one of the reasons I do not shop there at times because I don’t want to be approached with my children.  I would like to see more efforts on Wal-Mart’s part to make the parking lot a little more user friendly in this way, where their customers feel secure walking from their car to the store.
Customer Service though is great.  Any time I’ve ever needed anything, I’ve always been greeted by kind, knowledgeable team members who make sure I find what I am looking for, help me right away, or go the extra mile to make my experience a good one.  Prices on items are easily found, and I really like the variety and uniqueness Wal-Mart has to offer shoppers.  Every time I come home with a cool gadget from there, my friends ask me where I got it.  If I’m looking for something a little off the wall or something I know would exist but not easy to find, I always check Wal-Mart.  I never have a problem with Customer Service or the checkout lines at my store’s location.  The checkers are knowledgeable, friendly and have a sense of urgency.  Especially around the holidays, I found they were quick to help out, locate items right away and answer any questions I had.
With four kids of my own, whenever I get the chance to grocery shop I take it!  I picked up some Horizon Organic Whole Milk, along with the Let’s Rock Elmo toy that was on sale right before Christmas, for my twins.  My older kids picked out the Gyro Bowls to give to the babies for Christmas presents.  We also bought additional non-Disney items for the family like Equate soap, lotion and mouthwash.  We bought extra toothbrushes, tooth paste and dental floss for the kids, along with Suave brand shampoo.  In addition, we purchased a Christmas themed flannel blanket, a pair of gloves and a hat, two bags of socks and some underwear for each child.
We were not able to deliver the stockings in person, but our friend picked up all the items, including the stockings, and brought them to the family.  My son was very concerned about the baby having everything he needed, so we also gave the mother a gift card for Wal-Mart to use on necessary baby items.  Along with the items we purchased, we also went through our drawers and donated any clothes, blankets, hats, gloves and toys we were no longer using.  Our friend reported the family was very grateful and the children were ecstatic to have some Christmas items.  Especially the little girls who received the Tiana and Belle dolls from us.  My two children wanted to write them cards, and made one for each child.  I think the experience was win/win for everyone involved. My kids still talk about the family and the baby.  Our friend has made it his mission to continue to give to the family throughout the year, and we plan to provide him with items that would be useful for them.  Working on this together really opened my kids’ eyes, who never want for anything, and helped them realize  there are many families in our own city, struggling to provide their kids with food, clothing and shelter.  Showing my children the photo of the family made it even more real for them.

Please visit my Google+ page for a walk-through of my experience at Wal-Mart and creating my Disney Champion for Kids stockings for this project.

To learn more about how you can be a Champion for Kids in your community, visit their website, and check them out on FaceBook and Twitter @champions4kids #CBias #DisneyCFK.


This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.  All opinions, ideas, and photos are my own.