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Kids in need sweep Target

Auburn students chosen by Salvation Army
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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When Brook Peters will start the seventh grade at E.V. Cain Middle next week he'll be prepared.

Peters browsed the aisles at Target in Auburn for new shorts and shirts, eager to get back to school next week to see his friends and study math and science, his favorite classes.

Peters, 12, is one of 20 kids from Auburn who received an $80 Target gift card through the Target School Spree program in collaboration with the Salvation Army.

The Auburn Salvation Army chose 20 students to participate for the first time this year. Maj. Diane Jiminez with the Salvation Army said the students were chosen based on need and family size.

All of the students who participated in Tuesday's spree will also get a backpack full of school supplies.

Brook's mom, Casey Peters, said she wouldn't have been able to afford to buy her son supplies or new clothes for school this year otherwise. Peters was recently in a car accident that broke both of her feet and injured her knee, so she lost her job as a care provider.

Earlier this year, the Peters family lost another son, Gabriel, who was hit by a car when he was 2 and was sick from the accident for most of his life. Gabriel would have been 14 this year.

"We've had a year, that's for sure, but we're getting through it," Casey Peters said. "The Salvation Army has really helped us a lot. I don't know what we would do without them."

It's helping out families like the Peters that keeps Ashlee Southworth, a volunteer with the Salvation Army, coming back. Southworth was at Target on Wednesday helping 12-year-old Brianna, who comes from a family of six, spend her $80 on a new flashy wardrobe.

"Kids can be mean to each other, so it's good to send them to school in a nice outfit to help them feel good about themselves," Southworth said.

Miranda Fedoronczuk, 13, will be going to Auburn Elementary this year. She was excited that thanks to the book bag full of supplies she'll get on Monday she could spend her $80 on a sweater, shoes and jeans.

"There aren't a lot of people who get the opportunity to do something like this," Fedoronczuk said.

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.