Stephanie O'Callaghan, secretary for the Hedke Parent Teachers Organization (PTO), looks forward to the holiday shopping season each year, but for reasons you might not guess.
O'Callahan volunteers to help Hedke Elementary School students do their holiday shopping at a store located inside the school and shopping begins next week.
You won't find any long lines with impatient customers at this store. The store at Hedke is designed to teach students about budgeting their money, and it allows them to purchase gifts for family, friends and pets.
"They love buying things for their pets," O'Callahan said.
Several parents volunteer each year to guide students through the store, help them make good decisions with their money and wrap the gifts after the shopping is complete.
"The older kids shop on their own, and it’s a good chance for them to use their vision," O'Callahan said.
O'Callahan has two boys at Hedke: a first grader and a fourth grader. Though she looks forward to holiday shopping at Hedke, O'Callahan has year-round responsibilities.
O'Callahan keeps notes during PTO meetings, assists with the annual yearbook and notifies parents of upcoming events.
"I love to support the school in anyway I can," O'Callahan said. "This is a nice transition from being a stay-at-home mom."