Bling Team surprises back-to-school shoppers

The Bling Team
The Bling Team is going across the state paying for unsuspecting shoppers' purchases.

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s tax-free weekend and back to school shopping is in full swing. But even with a discount, parents are spending hundreds of dollars.

One group is going around stores surprising people at random in the checkout line, by paying the full tab. They call themselves the Bling Team and they’re stalking back-to-school shoppers around the state.

Back-to-school shoppers are swarming stores, marking off supply lists and racking up expenses. But there’s a secret benefactor scouting the aisles.

An unsuspecting father was at the Uptown Target buying school supplies for his sons Friday.

“Actually sir, we’re gonna pay for your purchase today,” a woman told him picking up the $74 tab.

“This is perfect, man that’s awesome thank you guys, that’s so cool,” said Candido Archuleta, father of soon-to-be first and fourth-grade boys.

The women are with First Financial Credit Union. But there’s no strings attached with the random act of kindness.

“We’re just trying to make your day,” the Bling Team told Archuleta.

“Just pay it forward is all, we’re trying to get out there and help people,” said Adonica Castellano, of the First Financial Credit Union.

Friday, the group went to stores around Albuquerque. The idea is to market their company and inspire people to help others.

They paid thousands of dollars worth of tabs in one day.

“For a family of five, three boys yeah, it’s not cheap, but it was very, very much appreciated,” said Tanya Flores.

The Bling Team surprised dozens of families at checkouts. Each one never saw it coming.

“It’s amazing, I think anything that does random acts of kindness in the community, just starts that wave of positivity,” said Christen Saam, after the Bling Team picked up the tab for her and her two boys at Old Navy. “I mean if you’re nice, nice should come back to you,” Saam’s son said.

Archuleta is on the PTA at his sons’ schools.

“The sad thing is the schools don’t get enough in terms of supplies,” Archuleta said. He added, parents spend more not only on their kids, but on supplies for classrooms.

“Heck yeah it’s expensive, I think I paid like $300 just for their uniforms, I would have spent about $100 here, that’s still not everything,” Archuleta explained.

He and others said Friday’s gift won’t end with them and that they plan to pay it forward.

The Bling Team spent about $4,000 Friday. They’ve been doing this for a year, and ramp up their giveaways during back-to-school shopping. They have plans to be back out scouting the aisles soon.

If you want to know exactly which items are tax free this weekend you can download the KRQE app for free. That’s where you will find an easy-to-use search of tax-free items. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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