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Children pair with Salvation Army volunteers for annual Children's Shopping Trip

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

Christmas is the season of giving and for the last 20 years, the Salvation Army of Rochester has been working hard to ensure everyone gets a gift under the tree, with their Children's Shopping Trip.

This year, 175 eight-and nine-year-olds each paired up with a Salvation Army volunteer and took part in this holiday tradition.

Armed with a gifting budget of $10 per person on their Christmas list, these kids set out, via bus to Shopko North in Rochester, with hearts full of love and Christmas cheer.

"One of the reasons behind this is to teach the kids how to give and share with others," said Major James Frye, the Core Commanding Officer of the Salvation Army in Rochester.

8-year-old Kali Agobian and volunteer Dan O'Neill had a mission to find the perfect gifts for Kali's family.

On Kali's list: her sister, her two brothers, and her mother.

"That'd be perfect for my brother,” said Kali, as she saw a Hot Wheels launching toy.

Armed with $40 dollars to divvy up between her four family members, Kali had to budget her funds wisely.

That budgeting is all part of the experience.

Having gotten gifts of the Hot Wheels Launcher for one brother, a huge yellow duck stuffed animal for her other brother, and a little dog stuffed animal for her sister, Kali had $7 remaining for her mother.

And still, she managed to find the perfect gift for her mother.

"Look at this! Look how cute it is!" exclaimed Kali, when she picked up a shimmery necklace.

"You think your mom will like that?" asked Dan.

Though shopping can be hard work, it's all done with a giving and loving heart.

"We want everybody to have something, and to have a happy Christmas morning," said Major Frye.

And come Christmas morning, Kali's family, along with many others, will wake up with smiles seeing gifts under the tree.

After the shopping trip, everyone who participated went back to Salvation Army for a wrapping party, in order to keep their gifts a surprise until Christmas morning.

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