Volunteers from all over Northwest Indiana joined together Tuesday evening to coordinate the La Porte Jaycee’s Deserving Children’s Shopping Tour. The event was held in the Community Building at the La Porte County Fair Grounds and impacts the lives of some of La Porte County’s most deserving children, raising funds to take them shopping to purchase coats, boots, and other winter necessities.
“It allows us as a community to give these children a great Christmas that they might not have been able to have otherwise,” said Jaycee member, Kristian Metcalf. “Everyone who participates knows that they are providing kids with something to be excited about for the holidays.”
Children in attendance also had the opportunity to take a picture with Santa Claus and meet some familiar Star Wars characters, including a couple of energetic storm troopers! The joy in the atmosphere was undeniable, with every child in the room sporting ear to ear smiles.
For the past 48 years, the Deserving Children’s Shopping Tour has been positively impacting the lives of local children. While La Porte Jaycee’s is the main contributor in organizing the event, much of the event’s success can be attributed to Jaycee’s generous sponsors.
“We are the main group that arranges everything and finds all the chaperones, but we really have some amazing sponsors,” Metcalf said. “McDonald’s provided dinner tonight, American Licorice provided candy for the kids, and CompressAir provided backpacks."
Andrew Crowl, President and Owner of CompressAir, said this is the first time that the company is participating in the Tour.
“We were approached by one of the Jaycee committee members and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help such a good cause,” said Crowl, “CompressAir has made it a goal of ours to become more involved with our community, and what better way to participate than helping out the Deserving Children’s Shopping Tour.”
Jaycee’s also works in collaboration with La Porte County Realtors, Rifsit local radio station, Walmart, and of course countless community volunteers. Locals devoting time to help out filled the room dawned in festive holiday sweaters, distributing the wonderful donations to all the guests.
“I think it’s a good program to help the kids in need,” said Chasidy Johnson, a volunteer from Rolling Prairie, “I’m happy to be out here helping out my community.”
The Deserving Children’s Shopping Tour will continue Wednesday evening in Michigan City. Between Tuesday’s tour in La Porte and Wednesday’s tour in Michigan City, Jaycee’s will provide holiday cheer for 600 children in the LaPorte County area. &nbs