Shop ‘til You Drop Caty Villavicencio Style

There are several things a Miami girl knows well: the trending styles, the cultured hot spots and the best shopping deals. She is no stranger to all the different shops around the city, which allow her to bring home quality goods within her budget. This summertime, the crowds will swarm retail shops to snag the cutest bikinis, the newest tech gadgets and the strongest SPF sunblock. Caty Villavicencio, however, has only one retail department in mind: the school supply section.


Photo courtesy of Cristina Alfonso

After kicking off this year’s school supply and backpack fundraiser to support struggling Miami students, Caty and her team of dedicated micro-philanthropists decided it was almost time to start making purchases for their cause. Her goal began at $1,000, and within a week, enough funds were raised to fuel the shopping spree. Before they could hit the retail aisles though, Caty knew her team needed to come up with a plan to maximize their school supply shopping budget. Long nights of online researching, Sunday flyer stalking and coupon discovering led to a perfectly played out strategy to tackle the sales.


Photo courtesy of Cristina Alfonso

As a bargain shopper, Caty knew there was more than one right way to go about this school supply shopping experience. Being familiar with local wholesalers, her team was able to purchase 100 backpacks for under $4 a pop. Not too shabby, huh? The remainder of the budget was to be spent between two other retailers, Target and Walmart. Not only did these stores provide weekly school supply discounts, but freebie rollbacks using Target’s Cartwheel App and tax-free week perks made the trip even sweeter.


Photo courtesy of Cristina Alfonso

Target truly set the scene for the easiest, and by far most colorful, shopping experience. Since it was their first official stop, and the excitement was at all-time high, the Target shopping trip called for collecting most of the school supplies in bulk. Between four team members, two ruby red shopping carts and countless good vibes, Caty was able to stock up 100 packs of crayons, 100 scissors, 100 packs of markers, 400 pencils, 200 glue sticks, 100 pencil pouches, 200 highlighters, 100 erasers, and 300 folders for the drive.


Photo courtesy of Cristina Alfonso


Photo courtesy of Cristina Alfonso

Once Target was taken care of, Caty and her team visited Walmart to collect the final details of the haul. The troop gathered 100 rulers and 288 notebooks, as the other 12 notebooks were donated previously by generous drive participants. The 600 packs of paper, however, will be purchased at a local retail store to complete the school supply load. In total, each of the 100 backpacks would contain all of these school supplies:

  • 3 notebooks
  • 3 folders
  • 6 packs of paper
  • 1 pencil pouch
  • 1 ruler
  • 1 pack of crayons
  • 1 pack of markers
  • 2 highlighters
  • 4 pencils
  • 1 scissor
  • 2 glue sticks
  • 1 eraser


Photo courtesy of Cristina Alfonso

With the new school year just around the corner, Caty’s supportive team of micro-philanthropists will be organizing, stuffing and distributing the backpacks asap. This year, all the backpacks and school supplies raised by Caty’s drive will be received by Shenandoah Elementary, a Title 1 Miami-Dade County School with a student population of approximately 1,000. So, what did we learn Miami girls? It just goes to show that a little retail therapy can go a long, miraculous way.

Words from Amanda Camejo

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