A Heartfelt Holiday Surprise


Usually this time of year, your bank account takes a huge hit as you’re trying to take care of everyone on your holiday list. Often we take for granted that many families don’t have the means to wake up to a living room full of wrapped presents. And due to the devastating hurricane season, many more don’t even have a warm place to call home this year.


Generous Y supporters, like JCPenney, realize this harsh reality and do what they can to bring holiday cheer to those who need it the most. On Dec. 12, the large retailer surprised deserving Tampa Y kids and families with a special shopping experience. JCPenney hosted a shopping spree at its Westshore Plaza store for ten underserved kids from the Sulphur Springs Y Community Learning Center. For two hours, the kids squealed with delight as they roamed the store with $100 to spend for the holidays.


This year, JCPenney went above and beyond and helped Y families affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. A neighbor’s tree fell through Andrew Lopez’s Seminole Heights home. He was one of two families that received a $5,000 shopping spree to assist with their recovery and holiday shopping needs. “It means a lot. It’s going to help us for Christmas. And when we get the house repaired, it’s going to help us replace a lot of stuff that did get damaged during the hurricane,” says Andrew. “It’s a big blessing!” To top it off, each family also received a brand new washer and dryer set for their home.


As if that wasn’t enough, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tight End O.J. Howard helped the deserving kids and families pick out gifts for themselves, parents and siblings. Thank you, JCPenney, for recognizing that the holiday season can be a tough one for those in need. Because of your generosity, these local families are now able to give back to their loved ones and make it a Christmas they’ll never forget!

Pictured above: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tight End O.J. Howard presenting two Y families with a $5,000 JCPenney gift card each after revealing a surprise large appliance giveaway to help with hurricane recovery.

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