Shop With A Warrior fosters holiday spirit within NC’s community


Courtesy of Matt Moody

The long-running tradition of Shop with a Warrior teaches NC students the importance of charity while gifting underprivileged children with the experience of a memorable Christmas. NC students and staff members worked diligently to adhere to the CDC’s COVID-19 protocols in order to preserve this meaningful tradition.

Amber Roldan, Features Editor

NC fostered holiday spirit within their community this weekend by hosting their 15th annual Shop With A Warrior (SWAW). SWAW juxtaposes the importance of giving back with Christmas festivities to create irreplaceable memories for underprivileged children enrolled in NC’s feeder schools. SWAW gifts each participating little Warrior shopper with $100 to spend on Christmas gifts for themselves and their family members. 

To participate in this cherished event, NC students formed teams of two and raised a collective $50 to donate towards SWAW. Shortly after submitting their permission forms and donations, NC students received an assigned time slot for Saturday morning. As student volunteers arrived in their matching t-shirts Saturday morning, NC teachers quickly paired them with a little Warrior shopper. After meeting their assigned child, each team loaded onto the buses awaiting them outside of the school. Singing carols and sharing laughs, the students traveled to Walmart where they escorted their children around the store searching for the perfect Christmas gifts.

“My first SWAW was so memorable, I loved getting to see all of the kids so happy and excited,” NC freshman Savannah Tighe said.

While gifting Christmas presents to loved ones abides as normality for numerous NC students, they do not realize it remains a privilege for the less fortunate. SWAW opens up the eyes of NC students allowing them to become a part of something bigger than themselves. In numerous families, Christmas presents purchased during SWAW may constitute the only Christmas presents awaiting little Warrior shoppers underneath the Christmas tree on December 25th.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, not every NC student volunteer received a little Warrior shopper in attendance. Multiple teams shopped for a quarantined future Warrior. These teams then rejoined everyone else in NC’s cafeteria where they wrapped all gifts purchased in festive wrapping paper. During a typical year, the savory scent of pizza greets Warriors at the cafeteria’s doors as they return from Walmart. To prioritize the health of all involved in SWAW, NC removed the annual pizza party from this year’s agenda. 

Although SWAW looked different this season with social distancing enforced throughout the shopping endeavor, COVID-19 failed to diminish the importance of the event. Both Warrior volunteers and little Warrior shoppers experienced pure joy Saturday morning after months of limited human contact. Everyone involved shared a ubiquitous state of thankfulness creating a palpable sense of love filling Walmart. 

“I love participating in SWAW every year and getting to see all of the kids so excited. Even though I shopped for a child who was quarantined this year, I am still glad I was able to give back to my community and improve someone’s Christmas,” NC junior Lorenzo Alarcon said.