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Gilbert firefighters take kids back-to-school shopping

GILBERT, Ariz. — Gilbert firefighters brought 56 underprivileged kids to a Kohl’s store at Baseline and Cooper roads Friday to buy things to help them get ready for school.

“We want every kid to start the school year with a fresh pair of shoes, nice clothes, and a backpack filled with [school supplies],” said Gilbert Fire Department Public Information Officer Mike Connor.

The kids were each given a $100 gift card.

“Each gets to shop with a firefighter,” Connor said. “With all of the discounts at Kohl’s, we each got about $140 of clothes per kid.”

Each child was selected by teachers who were asked which of their students was most in need.

One of them was 9-year-old fourth grader Jasmine Morales.

“It was fun,” she said. “I got my backpack, my clothes, my shoes and my lunchbox.”

Connor talked about one kindergartner that stuck out in his mind.

“She wanted a Disney ‘Frozen’ dress, and she was so excited about that dress,” said Connor. “Another little girl said that she’s never been shopping before. It was a tearjerker. It really puts things into perspective.”

This is the ninth straight year that Gilbert firefighters have hosted the Shop with a Firefighter back-to-school event for children.