Shop With A Mustang 2021


This past year, for many families, has been an absolute …disaster. With concerns for health and
well-being constantly looming over the heads of parents and children, coupled with financial
challenges, the climate of world seemed dismayed even with the holidays around the corner.

The students and faculty members of Kennesaw Mountain High School know firsthand the
distressing nature of the world currently and have been affected by it in their own lives, whether
directly or in close association to others. Having all of these concerns weighing on you can make
the holiday season quite the opposite of what it should be: happy, comforting, and an exciting time. But
having this in mind, the generous faculty, staff, and students of the KMHS family wanted to
positively impact the community and world around them.

To reach the community and surrounding communities in this season, the KMHS family decided
to organize the annual Shop With A Mustang event. This event would allow students and faculty
to offer their time to families and kids just like them, and spread positivity in a world that could
definitely benefit from it. After weeks of meticulous preparation and set-up, and with the help of
many volunteers, SWAM 2021 would start off with a bang!

And as December 11th approached, the carefully selected student mentors and faculty continued
to set-up many fun activity stations for the kids to enjoy, and created mentoring groups to ensure
the safety of the child and to maintain and comfortable and pleasant environment.

Starting off with the scenery, mentors and volunteers thought of the perfect and most fitting
holiday scene that any kid would love to be surrounded by: a Winter-Wonderland.

With nutcrackers and ballerina’s greeting kids at the door, Santa and his workshop bustling in
the café, and candy dangling as sugar plum fairies dance through the bright pink hallways, the
scenery was practically a movie set; perfect for any kid ready to start the holidays.

On the day of the SWAM event, mentors arrived early to the school to ensure that everything
was perfect for the arrival of the families. As the families rolled in, laughter and happiness rose
within the building, lifting everyone’s spirits. The mentors met with parents to discuss any
specific accommodations or arrangements for each child and as the clock struck 8:00am, the fun

The kids had a wide variety of stations to choose from including a delightful winter-themed
breakfast, an amusing game station, a jolly Pics-With-Santa workshop, and cute arts & crafts
everywhere you turn. At around 9:00am, the buses picked the mentors and kids up, shuttling
them to a great shopping complex with plenty of stores including Kohls, Old Navy, Target, and many others.

Upon arrival, mentors were encouraged to first find necessary items and let the kids pick which
clothes or shoes they would like (according to their parents’ specific requests), before shopping
for items like books or toys (though it was quickly concluded that shopping for toys was
definitely many kids’ favorite part). When all of the presents were bagged and buses were
packed, the mentors and kids headed back to the school to finish the holiday preparation and to
have a delicious lunch (including a surprise).

As the kids ate lunch and worked on their crafts, the mentors wrapped and decorated the presents
for the families before taking the kids to their last big surprise… Santa’s Workshop!

At Santa’s Workshop, the kids got to choose specific presents for each of their family members
and wrap the gifts themselves (many of the kids initially wanted to get presents for their parents
and siblings, so this surprise thrilled them). By the end of the present wrapping, the towers of
presents were placed into a bag and the gifts were given to the parents during pickup at 2:00pm.

As the end of SWAM neared, and the mentors prepared to tidy up the school, a glaring
realization and truth had been uncovered: it was clear to see the positive impact that the event
had, was not only on the families and kids who attended SWAM, but also on the KMHS family
of student and faculty volunteers, and our entire community. This opportunity to positively
contribute time and energy to the world has helped to influence an influx of community-conscious
decisions, and by keeping this mindset, we can continue to make the world a better, happier
place by helping one family at a time.