Pine Belt heroes shop with kids this holiday season

Local heroes shop with kids this holiday season

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Pine Belt heroes teamed up with kids in the area to make their Christmas a little brighter. WDAM cameras were at Walmart on Highway 98 Tuesday night in Hattiesburg as the 7th annual Shop with a Kid kicked off.

As a helicopter hovered above Hattiesburg, children screamed, “Santa, Santa, Santa!”

Christmas magic straight in from the North Pole played. Santa made a stop bringing his jolly holiday spirit to a group of very deserving boys and girls just days before Christmas.

“We got a surprise call yesterday saying to be here and I didn’t know if it was real or not," participant Dana Tims said. "We are very, very thankful because they didn’t have much up under the tree this year, but we are being blessed.”

From police officers to firefighters and members of the emergency management agency, it was a combined partnership of local heroes teaming up with children in the Pine Belt to make their Christmas dreams come to reality.

“You ought to see the smiling faces. They are jumping around and saying they love police," Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker said. "That just makes your heart feel so good, it really does. I just love to see them having a good time.”

“We have 40 kids this year. They were selected. We went through the school system in Lamar County, Forrest County and Hattiesburg School District," said Hattiesburg Police Officer Chad Young. "We got with the counselors and they gave us kids that were in need and kids that had different things going on in their lives and thought would be good to support.”

“I’m excited to be here to interact with the kids and the community,” Hattiesburg Fire Chief Sherrocko Stewart said.

From bikes to toys and trinkets, it was an explosion of happy kids living the ultimate shopping experience.

“It’s a great event. It allows some kids out there that might not get to experience the holidays like some others kids might and it gives them the opportunity to experience it as well,” Walmart Sales Manager Dale McLemore said.

Each child received a gift card for a limited amount of shopping.

If you would like to team up with the Hattiesburg Police Department for next year’s event, you can call 601-544-7900.

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