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Memphis actresses gift 150 kids Christmas shopping spree

Published: Dec. 25, 2021 at 10:04 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - For the 4th year, actresses Carrie Bernans and Candace Rice hosted their Operation: Holiday Give Back.

The event, where Bernans and Rice give Memphis-area kids a day of shopping and fun has grown every year, with this being its biggest group of kids served yet.

“We went from 10 kids to 28 kids to 75 kids to now, I believe, we have 130-150 kids,” Rice said.

Each of these kids were given a $250 gift card to Target, and the group was split to shop on different days.

Kids loaded on buses that took them to the Target off Poplar and I-240 and were surprised with the gift cards.

“We don’t take lightly that a lot of these kids are living on or below the poverty line,” Bernans said. “This may be their only Christmas gift, and we want to just share a light.”

Rice and Bernans are both Memphis natives that made a name for themselves in Hollywood: Rice a character on MTV’s Florabama Shore and Bernans getting her big break on Black Panther.

The two come back to not only give this shopping spree to a growing number of kids but also to teach these kids financial literacy, a crucial tool to help break the poverty cycle.

The kids who took part in the shopping spree, ranging from ages 5-18, all had to take a financial literacy course through Bernans non-profit CB Seed.

“I didn’t know about credit until I was 25,” Rice joked. “(The kids) are not only getting the shopping spree. They’re learning a knowledge that they need to be able to incorporate that after they graduate.”

“Through our financial literacy course workshop, we wanted to ensure that money wasn’t a foreign language, that (the kids) speak it in their every day lives, that they understand that money can come to them easily and also can flow from them easily,” Bernans said.

Inside the store, the kids were able to practice what they learned, thanks to multiple volunteers accompanying small groups of kids making sure they were able to get the most bang for their buck.

Both Rice and Bernans spend all year raising money for Operation: Holiday Give Back and partner with the Neighborhood Christian Center and Pursuit of God to help orchestrate the event.

“We are so excited for the future,” Bernans said. “We believe this can go even bigger.”

The two Memphian actresses would love to help give 250 kids in the city a good Christmas next year, but the main goal is to make the giving go nation-wide, to give kids in multiple cities, as Rice said, a good holiday.

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