2013 Shop with a Hero Program Exceeds Expectations

I have participated in the Shop With a Hero Program for many years. Every year, at least 60 Police/Firefighters donate their time to try to make the Holiday Season better for area children and their families. I am certain that the Police and Firefighters that shop with the children are equally, if not more, fulfilled than the children and families.

Sergeant Jeff Weiss

"Shop with a Hero" is a program that allows Ingham County police officers and firefighters to take children shopping for Christmas.

Sergeant Jeff Weiss of the Ingham County Sheriff's Department reports that a total of 55 children were able to be "shoppers" this year. With donations from Meijer, and money donated to the Ingham County Sheriff's Office for the program, each child was able to go shopping with a $100 Meijer gift card. Each family received a ham, turkey, milk, and other food items for a Christmas dinner. Each family also received a $25 Meijer gift card, and a gift card from McDonalds.

Due to additional donations, additional items were able to be purchased for the families. Some of the children were able to purchase toys for family members, as well as winter clothing items.

After the event, a viewer from Mid-Michigan whose daughter participated in the program sent WILX this letter:

My name is Erica D. My daughter was one of the children chosen by the Sheriffs to "shop with an officer" at the Meijer in Mason, on Wednesday the 4th of December.

The gift was, that each child goes around the store with an officer, or even a fire fighter, and they pick out anything they want, up to $100.00!!! not only that, after they are done, the officer & child go to the grocery area, where there was a HUGE amount of food in a box waiting for us.

With my family, due to recent events, we no longer have any money at all coming into the home, and this was to me, a gift from above. When I called in to verify that we would be there, I had to ask if we might be able to use maybe $15.00 of that $100.00 to pay for gas so we could not only get there, but be able to get home, and let me tell you, I felt bad for asking, but I had to, otherwise she would not have been able to go. The lady told me that they would give me a Meijer gas card, and not to worry, Elizabeth will still be able to get her 100.00 worth of gifts. Needless to say, I cried on the phone to the woman, for the kindness they had bestowed upon us.

Now to make this story even sweeter, the wonderful Sheriff told me that due to all donations received, that I could go and get any thing we may need, of which I immediately chose clothing. I was able to get both daughters new winter coats, Elizabeth some new boots, some socks and even a beautiful new outfit for Elizabeth to wear at her Holiday Concert coming up on the 13th!!!!!

The other sweetest thing, was when we arrived there, One of the women there gave me an envelope with the gas card, yet when I opened it, it was not a gas card for $15.00, it was a Meijer gift card for $50.00!!!!!! needless to say, when I opened that envelope, I had to go back and give the woman a huge hug while I was balling my eyes out.

So that is my story, and with all the bad that is going on, and that the fact that so many people dislike authority, I wanted to share how wonderful this gift was for my family. I just wish there was somewhere online that I could tell the world about this wonderful experience.

Thank you for your time, Happy Holidays,

Sergeant Weiss was Elizabeth's "hero" shopper, and told WILX News 10 that due to extra donations they were able to help make the holiday season better for area children and their families.

"I have participated in the Shop With a Hero Program for many years. Every year, at least 60 Police/Firefighters donate their time to try to make the Holiday Season better for area children and their families. I am certain that the Police and Firefighters that shop with the children are equally, if not more, fulfilled than the children and families."


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