“Shop with a Hero” is a great way to help your community. First responders from Blount County 911, Blount County Sheriff’s office, Oneonta Fire & Rescue, Snead Police Department, and Blount EMS will be among the shoppers for this year’s event. They will be paired with local students to shop for Christmas gifts for families in need throughout Blount County. This is the second year for the event and first responders would love to help even more families this year.
“There are several ways to help,” said Jana Short from Blount County 911. One way is to volunteer as a shopper. First responders of Blount County invite high school students to help by shopping with a hero.
Students in the county are encouraged to write a letter telling why they would be a good helper and give it to their school counselor. In the letter, let the first responders know why you are interested in law enforcement or firefighting. They also would like to know how you have been affected positively or negatively by law enforcement, medical personnel, or 911. Letters will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 20.
On Friday, Dec. 4, first responders will choose a shopper from each school. “Together, the students and local first responders will go Christmas shopping for families in Blount County that have also been selected by the first responders,” Short explained.
“Christmas is about giving to other people. The first responders want to remind students that they are the good guys and they are here to help others.”
The designated shopping day is Friday, Dec. 11. Short continued, “This is a great way for students to become involved in helping their community. They will be shopping with heroes and will be a blessing to a family in need.”
The first responders will deliver the gifts around Christmas. Last year they raised $1,000 and were able to buy food and presents for one family raising several children. The Shop with a Hero program is hoping to help several families this year.
“The amount of donations we receive will determine how many families we will be able to donate to. The goal of Shop with a Hero is to be able to give Christmas to someone who otherwise would not be able to have it. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to give to somebody,” Short said.
Blount County Sheriff Mark Moon was one of the shoppers for last year’s event and he is excited to be a part of it again. “I am extremely excited because I love to help others, especially children,” he said. “We take for granted sometimes all we have and all we’ve been given. I know that there are some out there that are just thankful to have a place to lay down at night or something to eat.
“I want to bless others because I have greatly been blessed. I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when those children get to receive those special gifts. I am also looking forward to talking with the families and helping the parents that may be trying so hard but are having a hard time making ends meet. What a blessing it is to bless others.”
Donations are being accepted now and can be made in several ways. You can donate through PayPal at www.Paypal.me/shopwithahero, or through the Shop with a Hero account at HomeTown Bank. Donations can be made at any HomeTown Bank location. Check out the group’s “Shop with a Hero” Facebook page or “Blount County 911” Facebook page for links to donate as well as other information.