Tulsa HBA Treats Local Kids to a Holiday Shopping Spree

Filed in NAHB Cares by on December 14, 2017 0 Comments

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Shopping for the perfect Christmas gifts can be difficult. But giving the gift of a shopping spree can be a fun alternative — especially if the recipient might not be getting anything else for Christmas.

That’s what members of the HBA of Greater Tulsa have been doing for the past five decades for underprivileged kids in the area.

Last week, the HBA held its 50th annual Christmas party and shopping spree. Nearly 90 students from the Ryal Public School in Henryetta, Okla., met up with 85 HBA members at a local Wal-Mart where each of the students was allowed to buy up to $50 of whatever they wanted.

“For most of these kids, probably the only Christmas they’ll get is when we take them shopping,” said John Brawley, owner of the Overhead Door Co., and who has participated in the annual event in each of the last 30 years. “The joy of going with them and seeing them get so excited — it’s a great way to kick off your Christmas and to help somebody who is less fortunate.”

This year, Brawley was paired up with a 14-year-old boy who had a unique shopping list: “When we were walking into Wal-Mart, I asked him if he knew what he wanted for Christmas, and he quickly responded by telling me he wanted some copy paper,” Brawley said.

“That’s not something you’ll hear too often, but he told me it’s because he loves to draw. So we went right over and picked up two large reams of copy paper and several art supplies, as well as some other gifts.

“Later in the day, he gave me a portrait that he drew of me. And I mean it when I say this kid is a natural artist because he made even me look good,” Brawley said lightheartedly.

After everyone had finished shopping, the kids — all ranging between three and 14 years of age — were brought to the HBA offices, where the members hosted a pizza party and brought in a “mad scientist” for entertainment. The party culminated with an appearance from Santa Claus, who delivered some additional presents.

Brawley says he intends to continue participating for many more years to come because each time “it’s been an incredible and memorable experience.”

HBA members pause briefly for a photo during the shopping spree.

 

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