JONESVILLE, Mich. (WLNS) — Police officers and firefighters from Hillsdale County took some time off Thursday night to help make sure dozens of kids from the area get what they need for the holidays.
6 News went to the Shop with a Hero event at the Walmart in Jonesville.
On this cold December night, 7-year-old Jenna Grunden got a much-needed new coat.
“Her coat was torn on the one sleeve so now she has a new coat to wear,” said Jenna’s mother, Jessica Grunden of Hillsdale. “We are a big family. She has four other siblings. So she got to do just her.”
And it’s thanks to first responders from all over Hillsdale County.
Some of them channeled Santa Claus with a generous spirit and of course, facial hair.
“The sheriff decided that we would do a No Shave November, No Shave December, and raise money toward the Shop with a Hero event,” said Lt. Todd Moore of the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies raised around $1,000 by staying away razors.
“And then we had outside donations. When people found out that we were doing this, the outpouring has been amazing,” Lt. Moore said.
The beard fundraiser raised a total of $2,475.
That amount helped double the number of kids who got to shop with these local heroes.
“So we have 60 kids coming to shop today,” Lt. Moore said.
Each school district in the county selected six kids to participate.
These little shoppers have a list of things they need, but they also get to pick out something fun.
“That’s what it’s all about is meeting the needs of these kids,” Lt. Moore said.
Along with hosting the event, the Jonesville Walmart donated $1,000 to the program.
“I have several associates that come to just help out. Because it’s great to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they’re leaving,” said Store Manager Gale Fix.
They hope this shows the kids that cops and firefighters are here to help.
“We get called to your house when it’s the worst day of your life. But we also want to try to be one of the best days of your life. And with these kids, we can do that with,” Lt. Moore said.
Parents who brought their children to the event say they’re very thankful.
“It is so amazing. Especially with all that law enforcement does for us. It’s amazing to see them with her,” Grunden said.