For more than two decades, area law enforcement personnel, firefighters, emergency first responders and emergency medical technicians have graciously given their time to help bring the holiday season into the homes of area children in need of a little boost.
This year is no exception, as local police, firefighters, EMTs and first responders spent Tuesday evening, December 12, making dreams come true for area youths through the Meijer 'Shop with Hero' program. The program is designed to ensure that children whose families are experiencing financial hardship have a happy Christmas.
Each of this year's participating children are presented with a gift, a holiday food basket for their families, a visit with Santa Claus and a gift card to purchase gifts for themselves and family members. They were also treated to a meal.
Along with offering holiday cheer to those who may need it most, the Shop with a Hero program provides an opportunity for youngsters to experience a positive interaction with police officers, firefighters and others on the front line who help keep their communities safe. An added bonus is all the flashing lights and big sounds of the emergency vehicles light up the outside perimeter of the store and capture the awe and imagination of the participating youths.
As always, we applaud our local police officers, firefighters, EMTs and first responders for giving their time so generously to brighten the holiday for children and families within the communities they serve. Hats off to Meijer and the local businesses they partner with to make the annual Shop with a Hero program such a resounding success.