She’s the daughter of two powerhouse celebs and counts Jay-Z as a mentor. She just released the hit single “Fireball” with close friend Nicki Minaj off her new album “Knees and Elbows” – announced for the first time today. Oh, and she’s only eleven years old.
Despite a famous family lineage and an already-successful career, Willow Smith is just a kid who wants to help out other kids.
Early this morning, Target teamed up with the rising singer and her “Kids Helping Kids” campaign to award eight deserving New York kids and their families with a holiday shopping spree in the Target Harlem store. The lucky kids were selected based on a nomination from The Boys and Girls Club of NYC for displaying leadership and academic excellence.
“Today is about providing wonderment and delight for young people, scholars and athletes here in Harlem,” said Gisele C. Shorter, Executive Director of The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. “It’s a great opportunity for kids committed to academic excellence who might not have all of the resources to afford the holidays. It’s an amazing reward for their commitment and dedication.”
Before Target’s doors officially opened and after warming up with a hot breakfast, the families had four minutes (and nine seconds!) to race through the store and snatch up to $1,000 worth of goods while “Fireball” blasted over the intercom. In other words, a dream come true.
Willow, looking bright-eyed and dressed in black leggings and chic moto-boots, welcomed the energetic kids and posed for photos before the race countdown. Armed with a confetti gun as a starter pistol, Willow cheered as 16 shopping carts whizzed past her before the flakes of confetti could fall to the ground.
Fifty excited honor roll students from The Harlem Children’s Zone also joined in on the early morning festivities to cheer on the families as they sped through the store.
We were there to catch all the action on video, and got a chance to chat with Willow and the speed-shoppers at the event. Take a look below, and read on for more after the jump.
For the race, each family donned matching colored T-shirts, with store maps in hand and strategies to divide and conquer Target’s stocked aisles. Colorful “roadway” signs pointed kids to different store departments –toys, clothing, electronics, home and more.
The red team, a family of four, had their eyes on the electronics department.
“Dad is more for electronics, but I’m all about home goods,” said the red team Mom before the race. “Hopefully we can get a good strategy together and get some great gifts.”
Her 14-year-old soon was dying for a pair of Beats headphones, while her shy daughter hoped to grab Monster High dolls.
Even Willow got into the shopping spirit. After all the other children skipped off with their Target swag, Willow enthusiastically hopped on a cart and rolled through the aisles in search of her own. Her pick? An Easy Bake Oven.
She’s just a kid, after all.
Photos and Video by Chris New and Gabby Garcia-Pardo
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