Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mission Lets Kids Shop for Mom, No Cash Involved

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mission Lets Kids Shop for Mom, No Cash Involved

Article excerpt

On Saturday, 11-year-old Stevenson Booker of north St. Louis walked from counter to counter carefully scrutinizing the merchandise to find the perfect Mother's Day gift.

"I want something red," he told a volunteer at the Sunshine Mission, 1520 North 13th Street.

The teen-aged volunteer smiled at Booker as she displayed a red, woven jewelry box. "No," said Booker as he shook his head from side to side. "How about a red purse?" the volunteer inquired. Still not good enough for Booker's mom. Next, Booker moved on to the jewelry counter, where he closely examined a necklace; a watch; a pin. But Booker was not convinced. To quickly move him along, volunteers frantically showed Booker a bracelet, another necklace, a trinket. Booker wasn't "biting." Then, he spotted it - Mom's perfect gift - a "diamond" ring in a small gray box. Booker was among 75 children who scurried through the Sunshine Mission Community Closet to participate in a special shopping spree for Mother's Day. Each child selected a "free" gift to give mom. Individuals and community groups donated the items. The Sunshine Mission Community Closet is a new outreach program of Sunshine Mission, a Christian homeless shelter that provides social services to the poor. The children were part of the Sunshine Mission Kids Club, a weekly program that provides activities to 75 inner-city children, ages five to 17. On Monday, Sunshine Mission will celebrate the grand opening of the Community Closet from 1 to 4 p.m. at the mission. All items - men's and women's clothing, household goods, toys, shoes, accessories and jewelry - will cost from 25 cents to $1. The closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays and 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. Five-year-old Damien Jones found a white clock with gold trim. Clutching it, he said he selected it because "I want to tell time. …

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