Mother & daughter shop for 120 children in need on Thanksgiving
TIGARD, Ore. - A mother and daughter from North Plains started shopping at 5 a.m. on Thanksgiving, and they are planning to shop straight through the night, until Friday. The goal: to buy presents for more than 120 local children in need.
"We believe every child should have a gift to open on Christmas morning," said Brenda Bottema, as she sat with her daughter Rochelle in line outside the Toys 'R Us in Tigard.
They are doing this project in honor of Brenda's husband---and Rochelle's father---whose nickname was "Lucky." He passed away right before Christmas five years ago. They named their group "Lucky to Serve."
"He was always about helping others," said Bottema. "And for him to know we were doing this for kids, he'd be excited."
Bottema said Lucky would have laughed at them for going out into the chaos of Black Friday and Thanksgiving shopping, but he would have loved making Christmas special for children who might otherwise have no presents under the tree.
"He would have liked delivering them and seeing the kids' faces," said Bottema.
The Bottemas spend months working on the project, raising money, finding families in need, researching the cost of toys, and making long gift lists.
This year, they sped through Thanksgiving dinner in about 45 minutes to be able to get in line as quickly as possible.
They were second in line at Toys R Us, which opened at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. They spent about an hour filling four shopping carts full of toys and diapers and waiting in line to pay for them.
"We try to give every family a game, to pull the family together," said Bottema. "It's nice to have that. You've got to have toys. We love anything where they can use the imagination."
The final bill: $422, which means presents for more than half of the children on their list.
"We spent more than we wanted, but we got a lot," said Bottema. "It's all about the kids."
Rochelle Bottema was wearing a T-shirt with her father's picture on the back.
"I know he would not necessarily be shopping with us, but he'd be helping us out in any way he could," she said. "He just loved serving others. He was all about everybody else. I know he's smiling down on us. He's happy."