Moving briskly through Walmart’s aisles, with just 30 minutes to spare, the Cathedral Home for Children students filled their arms with socks, discounted jewelry, soda, Cheetos and more. The shopping spree is an annual tradition that aims to give Cathedral Home students a better Christmas.
Cathedral Home currently oversees 49 children, and they were each able to take part in this year’s spree thanks to a donation from the Mountain Cement Company.
President Tom Hamp said it was his company’s gift to Laramie.
“We were just looking for a place ... to give back to the community,” Hamp said. “We just reached out to the Cathedral Home to participate in a program they had to be able to share Christmas with the kids.”
The children came to Walmart in waves, perusing the various departments with Cathedral Home staff members, gradually making their way through a checklist of planned purchases.
“Our staff worked with the kids to figure out what they could spend with the money they were given,” said Cassidy Biggs, Cathedral Home’s marketing and development director. “A lot of pre-planning was involved which was really fun for them, I’m sure.”
She added the event means a great deal to the students who benefit from it, who can use their budget as they see fit.
“I think their excitement comes from being able to do this kind of thing, to get off-cottage and knowing that somebody out there that they’ve never met before is thinking about them and caring, wanting to give them a good Christmas,” Biggs said.
Many students expressed gratitude for Mountain Cement Company’s donation.
“I think it’s super cool,” one student said. “These people are hella nice that they donated money and it’s just fun.”
Cathedral Home for Children receives support from many companies, organizations and individuals throughout the community. A few include the Hi Wheelers Automotive Club, Hits 106, Toyota of Laramie and the Elks.
“It’s a community effort,” Biggs said.