The gift cards were donated by Wal-Mart to The Salvation Army who contacted the Alaska National Guard to help choose local military families to thank for their service and commitment, which can sometimes cause family hardships.
Each of the children received a $50 gift card and a personal shopper to escort them though the Wal-Mart on Dimond Boulevard to buy clothes and toys.
"My daughter had a brain tumor two years ago in May, and while I was deployed, I found out that she had another one and had to come home on emergency leave," said Spc. Kristopher Fager, of the Alaska Army National Guard's 207th Aviation. "Both times we had to go to Seattle so she could be treated; it gets very expensive. Without this I didn't think we'd be able to have a Christmas. I thought maybe a couple gifts but not like we normally have. It means a lot to us that Wal-Mart and The Salvation Army are doing this."
With $25,000 in gift certificates donated regionally by Wal-Mart to The Salvation Army, they were able to honor some of the children of our local military families.
"I think it's great," said Marty Howard, store manager for the Wal-Mart on Dimond Boulevard. "There aren't any more deserving people than the people who sacrifice their lives to defend the country, and we need to be able to support them. We want to do our part, and we're tremendously honored and glad to be able to help."