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Tekoa Academy, Target provide holiday shopping spree for families in need

Tekoa Academy of Accelerated Studies, along with its corporate partner Target, hosted their second annual shopping spree Friday in the Central Mall.

50 families in need from Port Arthur and Orange were given $200 gift cards to Target for toys, clothes and necessities for the holiday season.

A 2019 Target Community Impact Grant sponsored the shopping spree with matching funds from Tekoa Academy.

For Lanishea Chaney, a mother of 11, the event put the Christmas spirit back into a stressful holiday.

Lanishea Chaney adds a classic Lego set to her shopping cart in the Central Mall Target. Chaney is one of 50 families given a $200 gift card for her holiday shopping needs by Tekoa Academy, Community Bank and the Houston Retired Basketball Association. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

“It’s the best feeling in the world to be nominated for something like this,” Chaney said. “I consider it a blessing. Sometimes you go through financial trouble, and being that I have an extremely large family, it helps out. It’s not a hand out, but it’s about being seen and heard. I’m just really grateful for it.”

Chaney’s 11 children range from the ages of 1 to 19 and for her, the shopping spree meant a range of toys, clothes and shoes.

“It’s about making sure that they are together, that they have what they need before I’m taken care of,” she said.

The event was a culmination of a two-day “Family Financial Literacy” program and workshop, which taught the participating families about budgeting, credit and efficiency.

“It’s a learning process,” Chaney said. “It’s not just about the gifts, but learning how to manage money and make it work for you, build it up. It’s an educational learning process. It’s just really helpful when your bills overpower more than you can do.”

Representatives from the Houston National Retired Basketball Association, Houston Rockets Front Office, Community Bank and other partners came out to assist in the day’s merriment.

Angela Chevis checks out a basket full of clothes and toys at the Central Mall Target, Friday. Angela Chevis is one of 50 families given a $200 gift card for her holiday shopping needs by Tekoa Academy, Community Bank and the Houston Retired Basketball Association. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Kevin Loder, former NBA star and current Vice President of the Houston Retired Basketball Association, has led the financial literacy courses for the past two years.

“Tekoa Academy is our adopted school,” he said. “We started about 12 years ago as part of our STEM initiative. This is just another part an extension of our partnership were we come to support Tekoa as they honor and sew into this community and the families that they are apart of.”

The 60-year-old representative said the event has been significant to watch and be apart of for the second year in a row.

“We try to teach them how to service their wants against their needs,” he said. “It’s Christmas time and all the children have tremendous want, but there is also tremendous need and there is only so much finance to go around. We have the ability to give them a gift card to help get some of those needs met and have a great start for 2020.”

Tekoa Academy, Community Bank, Target and the Houston Retired Basketball Association partnered to bring 50 families to Target in the Central Mall Friday for holiday shopping needs. Pictured, from left, are Richard Johnson, Tekoa Academy teacher, Sheryl Swoopes, former WNBA star, Andonnia Lowe, Tekoa Academy administrator, Kevin Loder, former NBA star, Harold Doucet, Port Arthur councilmember, Eric Harrison, inspirational speaker. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Tekoa Academy, Community Bank, Target and the Houston Retired Basketball Association partnered Friday to bring 50 families to Target in the Central Mall for holiday shopping needs. Pictured, from left, are Richard Johnson, Tekoa Academy teacher, Sheryl Swoopes, former WNBA star, Andonnia Lowe, Tekoa Academy administrator, Kevin Loder, former NBA star, Anita Lovato, Target general manager, Eric Harrison, inspirational speaker and Brandon Bauhan, Target human resources. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)