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Gilbert firefighters go back to school shopping

GILBERT, Ariz. — It’s that time of year for back to school shopping, but sadly not all of the Valley’s students can afford to buy clothes.

Thanks to the Gilbert Fire Department, at least some local schoolchildren will have a new wardrobe when classes start next week.

“We are taking 50 very deserving kids shopping,” said Jean Machnicki, community fire program manager. “We have teamed up with Kohl’s and East Valley Firefighter Charities, where we take the kids and we give them a $100 gift card and they go shopping for back to school clothes and shoes.”

The department chose to help students from Oak Tree Elementary in Gilbert and Harris Elementary in Mesa.
Firefighters walked around with the schoolchildren on Friday as they picked out clothes from the Kohl’s near Baseline Rd. and Stapley Dr.

“Very rarely do we get to spend so much time helping kids,” said firefighter Justin Sours. “It’s really nice to interact with them and help them shop.”

Before they left, each student also received a new backpack filled with school supplies.