VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach middle school students whose families lost items in Hurricane Matthew were treated to a Walmart shopping spree on Friday.
The Plaza Middle School PTA collected donations to provide 23 families with $350 to spend at the Phoenix Drive location from 6 to 8 p.m.
“It brings joy to me, and I hope that we brought joy to them,” said the school’s principal, Joe Burnsworth.
10 On Your Side walked the aisles with a family who lost everything in the storm.
“We lost all of our furniture, and 90 percent of our clothes, it’s been rough,” said Shane Saddler.
Saddler’s twins, Logen and Haylee, attend seventh grade at Plaza. Haylee and her mom were at their Windsor Oaks home when 17 inches of water poured in.
“I felt quite upset,” Haylee told 10 On Your Side.
During the shopping spree, called “Spend with a Friend,” the family filled shopping carts with toys, clothes, pillows, a Bible, and other items.
“Just being thankful to have this opportunity to put smiles on the kids’ face, and for them to be able to get things that they need and want,” Shane said.
The Saddlers said they’ve received help and assistance ever since the storm.
“We have at church a disaster relief program,” Logen said.
Someone connected to Haylee’s swim team provided a trailer for the family to stay in for the months it will take to repair their home.
“You can see how many people have stepped forward,” the seventh grade girl told 10 On Your Side.
While the storm has been devastating for the family, they are grateful for the help they’ve received.
Shane said she is grateful for what the tragedy can teach to her children.
“I would hope this would teach them to never take things for granted,” she said. “And always help somebody else who is in need.”
The PTA will continue collecting donations for the holidays. If you’d like to help out, call Kim Henson at 757-816-2686 or make checks payable to Plaza Middle School PTA.