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Volunteers Needed for WVCS Saturday Shopping Spree

West Valley Community Services needs 40 volunteers to help low-income kids shop at JCPenney for back-to-school duds on Aug. 6.

A couple pairs of jeans, some sneakers, a few shirts, oh and a backpack, of course. All staples on a back-to-school list. But for some, the money just isn't there to buy those things, so in steps West Valley Community Services to help those children whose families don't have the means to outfit them with new duds.

This year though, it's West Valley Community Services that may not have the means to help those who need it most because the nonprofit
organization is short volunteers for its annual Back-to-School Shopping Spree, and there's a chance of losing about $5,000 in funding for the event, according to Director of Community Resources Jacqueline de Guzman.

"Our biggest need right now is for about 40 volunteers," she says. "We had 101 kids qualify to participate in this program."

The volunteers act as chaperones who accompany a child through WVCS's partner store, , on a shopping spree where the child is assisted in making purchases of essential clothing. Each year since the program's 2005 inception WVCS averages about 80 children served through the program, or about 450 youth in total.

Without the volunteers all the kids who qualified this year may not get a chance to go shopping. What's worse, says de Guzman is that a couple different funders who are working to come up with some funds for the group may fall short by about $5,000.

That would leave the organization with enough money to help 66 kids, leaving 35 out of the JCPenney shopping spree.

"It's coming down to the wire, since it's this Saturday. We're putting out a plea to the community," de Guzman says.

West Valley Community Services serves economically disadvantaged children and families in Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating, contact de Guzman at 408-255-8033, ext. 305, or visit www.wvcommunityservices.org/shopping-spree.php.

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