Christmas time is such a magical season. Pretty lights, decorations and songs that fill the air with Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Jolly old Saint Nick make this time of year unlike any other. It can also be a difficult time for families who are struggling financially. For them there might be little hope of a fairytale ending.
Decades ago, Bonneville High School saw a need within the community and wanted to help. They started a Sub for Santa program with various activities they hold to help raise money in the community. This tradition is still going strong. These amazing teens go to work earning money as soon as school starts in September, and 99% of all funds go towards giving back to those in need. They work closely with The Weber County Sheriff’s office and last year brought in $18,000.
Roy City’s Fire and Police Departments have the great opportunity to be a part of this. They find a child who might not get a Christmas and ask if they can be their shopping buddy on this special day.
On the morning of the big shopping day, a firefighter or policeman, dressed in his or her uniform, arrive in his or her police car or fire truck at the child’s house. After they are buckled into the emergency vehicle, their first stop is Village Inn for breakfast. Here they spend time talking with the kids and filling their bellies so they aren’t shopping on an empty stomach. After breakfast, they climb back into their emergency vehicles and continue to Walmart with a full police escort, lights and sirens blaring all the way. All the emergency vehicles form a circle with their lights on, creating a helicopter landing pad in Walmart’s parking lot. The excitement in the air is unlike anything else when Santa Clause lands in an Air Care Helicopter! After he exits the helicopter, Santa joins the children to walk into Walmart. As they enter, Bonneville High School’s Choir starts singing Christmas carols and then Shopping with a Hero begins.
Each child is given a gift card and a goal to get something they need, something they want, and something for someone else. After they purchase their cart full of gifts, Bonneville High’s Student Body wraps them all. Daxton Waterfall, SBO President at Bonneville High, said that it is the coolest experience seeing these kids who have very little come with these gifts that are mostly for everyone else in their life. “They are so sweet and thoughtful.” He said it’s a very humbling experience he is very happy to be a part of. Chief Jeff Comeau said the fire department has been a part of this program for the past 3 years. He loves that his department gets to be a part of the community, filling a need and gaining a friendship with these sweet kids. He hopes that they will know firefighters and policemen are here for them.
We LOVE this community and all the good that is done here. Thank you to Bonneville High School and to our Fire and Police Department for being our hero’s every day. If you want to donate to Shop with a Hero, call Bonneville High School at (801) 452-4050.
We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and feel of the magic of the season.