Friday, November 27, 2009

Shopping for a Good Cause

When I signed up to volunteer for Toys for Tots at the North Augusta Wal-mart, I expected to be asking for donations, maybe sitting at a table selling pizza, whatever odd jobs they assigned me. But not, "Want to go spend $1,000?"

The organization gets donations of not only new unwrapped toys but also monetary donations throughout the year. And someone's got to spend the money. I just never imagined it to be me.

It's a pretty exhilarating feeling to be pushing a cart through Wal-mart with $1,000 to burn and a mission to buy toys for girls ages 0 to 2. The goal is to spend a dollar amount averaging about $10 to $20 per toy, with a max of $30. I took it pretty seriously. But a cart full and just $200 spent after a good half-hour of shopping and I had to ask the Marines (who spearhead the campaign) to help. So with two other Marines, we cleared some aisles and left with three carts piled high with shiny new toys. As we left, I told a manager, "I think you're going to have to restock back there." He laughed, "That's a good problem to have."