Lucky children ‘Shop With a Hero’

A Hazel Green firefighter helps a girl try on boots at Walmart during the "Shop With a Hero" event. CONTRIBUTED
A Hazel Green firefighter helps a girl try on boots at Walmart during the “Shop With a Hero” event. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON COUNTY – The “Shop With a Hero” event on Dec. 12 benefited more than 800 students in Madison County and southern Tennessee.

Flint River Baptist Church and corporate partner Walmart sponsored the program. Each child was partnered with a ‘hero’ to shop for the holidays with a $100 gift certificate from Walmart, John Southerland said. Southerland works as Director of Development and Communications for Madison County Schools.

The ‘heroes’ that accompanied students for the shopping spree included all military personnel, whether in active service or veterans, local law enforcement officers, educators, firefighters, doctors, nurses, MedFlight employees and HEMSI first-responder personnel.

The presence of a ‘hero’ in public service not only displayed concern and love for the child but also offered hope to those children in difficult situations.

Students and their heroes visited a Walmart near their school campus. New Market and Central schools, Buckhorn Middle School, Riverton and Mt. Carmel elementary schools, along with Lakewood and Morris elementary schools in Huntsville, visited the Madison store at 8650 Madison Blvd.

Children from Martin Luther King Jr. and Blossomwood elementary schools and Chapman Schools in Huntsville and Riverton Intermediate School in Madison County went to the Walmart at 3031 Memorial Parkway in Huntsville.

At the store at 2200 Sparkman Drive in Huntsville, students and their heroes shopped from Madison Cross Roads, Walnut Grove, Moores Mill intermediate and Meridianville middle schools in Madison County, along with Westlawn Middle School in Huntsville.

Students from South Lincoln School in Tennessee and Hazel Green and Lynn Fanning elementary schools in Madison County bought Christmas goods from the Walmart in Hazel Green at 14595 Ala. 231 N.

Madison County Schools personnel transported most children and their families from their school to the designated Walmart and back to the school. The children had a three-hour window for shopping.

Any individual can share in the experience of “Shop with a Hero” by sponsoring a child with a tax-free donation. Each donation of $100 sponsors an at-risk child.

For more information, visit shopwithahero.info.

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