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Asheville shopping spree a mission to make birthdays happy for children of fallen soldiers

A Soldier's Child, a nationwide nonprofit, was on detail Friday in Buncombe County. Their marching orders -- buy about 900 gifts for 129 children of men and women who've given their lives for our nation. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Veterans Day is a time to honor those who've served America in the military. But what about their children?

There's an effort underway this weekend that helps makes sure a certain day is special for the children of service men and women who gave their lives.

A shopping spree Friday at the Walmart on Airport Road resulted in about $18,000 worth of clothing, games, toys--you name it.

It sounds like a lot until you consider all the goodwill it brings.

A Soldier's Child, a nationwide nonprofit, was on detail Friday in Buncombe County. Their marching orders: Buy about 900 gifts for 129 children of men and women who've given their lives for our nation.

Armed with buggies and bags, the shoppers set out on their mission to help children they don't even know have happy birthdays.

"I wrote this song for my dad ..." said Tavie, of Summerville, South Carolina, who is about to be 11. "He gave his life in Iraq."

Her father, Wesley Hunter, died in 2008.

Bruce Anderson and Donna Redmon, co-workers at Medical Action Industries in Arden, were shopping for Tavie, whose wishlist included anything to do with horses.

"America, the people of this nation do care," A Soldier's Child founder Daryl Mackin said. "We want to honor you in memory of your mom or dad."

Mackin will tell you it goes way beyond the many birthday gifts. The shoppers agree.

"It just overflows my heart to think that we can help these children that way, and bring a smile to children that have faced more than we'll ever face," Redmon said.

Saturday, all the birthday gifts will be wrapped and packed for mailing to kids with birthdays coming up next month.

If you'd like to get involved or make a donation to A Soldier's Child, click here.

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