Bossier High opens Christmas Store so students can shop for free for their families

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – What started as an idea to help local students afford gifts for their family and loved ones for the holidays has grown into a community-wide charitable shopping event at Bossier High School, which opened its Christmas Store Monday morning for the tenth year.

Students lined up and looked through a room full of items as the library filled with potential gifts they can pick up for free, from toys to clothing, games, toolsets, and much more.

“Has it gotten out of hand? Absolutely,” said math teacher Cil Guerrero. “But everybody gets Christmas for anybody they want Christmas for.”

Guerrero has been teaching at Bossier High for 19 years. She helped create the Christmas Store after she donated some of her daughter’s older toys and belongings to students. She said it’s grown greatly over the years.

“The joy it brings people. I love to give. The fact we can provide this to families does my heart good.”

Students can pick out gifts for themselves or their families. Bossier High serves a lower-income area of the city, so a little help goes a long way.

“A lot of kids grew up in neighborhoods around here.” said student Jemario Collins. “We’re not really a rich neighborhood, so it means a lot to us to come here and get these free items to give to our families.”

The principal David Thrash says it really connects the community.

“My students are important to me, my staff but also our extended family. We’re all Bearkats here.”

Guerrero’s son is now in high school and getting to shop in the Christmas Store for his first time. He picked out something for his sister.

“It’s just great we have people that want to give to those you don’t have a lot,” Mateo Guerrero said.

Donations of items for the store can be dropped off at Bossier High school year-round. The store is open for students for the next three days.

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