Shop with a Hero returns to Monroe next month in a year when the need is great

Christmas is less than 2 months away and this year the need to help is even greater. Last year, the program planned to help 250 children shop for that special Christmas for them and Hometown Heroes ended up helping 393 children.   

“We were humbled by the support we received from our amazing community.  So many businesses and individuals stepped up to help.  I know that people want to help at the holidays and some just don’t even know how or where to start.  This year, our plan is to help 400 and with the larger need, the event has been split into three nights, Dec. 13th, 15th and 19th,” said organizer Janice Baldwin who has been with the program for many years.

“We again feel that this year our Shop With A Hero is needed more than ever.  With the increase of prices in groceries and gas alone, many families are wondering how they can provide any Christmas for their kids. We help provide it for the families that know they do not have the means.  

“We have fire fighters, Air-vac helicopter pilots, nurses, Walton County Sheriff’s deputies, employees from Piedmont Walton, local EMT’s, Georgia State Patrol, local Police,  Walmart employees, Realtors and local Churches volunteer to come and shop with the children (the kids get to pick which HERO they want to shop with). We get the names from FISH (Faith in Serving Humanity), the SRO Officers and school counselors for 400 children to each have $150 to shop.” 

Hometown Heros of Walton is a resource to help connect the kids that need help with the heroes in our community.  They organize, raise the money and provide an amazing event that is probably the best nights of all the Christmas season.  They even have volunteers help wrap all the gifts the kids picked out and have Santa there all 3 nights!  

“Last year Athletes from Walnut Grove and Monroe Area High Schools showed up to volunteer.  Local teachers came and helped us!  We even had two previous Walton County students volunteer.  Blake Wise showed up in his Marine uniform and Jacob Tallent volunteered in his Army Uniform. 

“Our hope and vision is that these kids feel the love from our Heroes in our community and want to grow up and even want to be a local hero,” Baldwin said.

“We are shopping at the Monroe Walmart on Tuesday Dec 13 and Thursday Dec 15 from 5-8, and Monday, December 19th.(times may go a little later).   We need volunteers!    If you are interested in volunteering in any way please reach out to Hometown Heroes and follow their facebook page.  They will have a sign up sheet for volunteers,” she said. 

If you would like to donate, you are asked to reach out to Janice Baldwin at  The goal this year is to raise a minimum of $60,000 to help at least 400 local children in Walton County.

“Hometown Heros would like to thank our local Walmart and the Walmart DC for always sponsoring our 501-C3 with a grant each year.  Andrew, the store manager of Walmart even told me that it is his, and his employees favorite nights of the season,” Baldwin said.

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