A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand
By: Holly Brantley
Stoddard County, MO -- No parent wants to tell their child ‘Santa can’t make it this year’…That’s why charities try to fill the void.
One of those charities is the Shop with a Hero Program. 

Stoddard County’s program is just one of dozens of organizations across the heartland reaching out to needy children this holiday season.

They will be able to help about three hundred and fifty children this year, and that’s more than ever before.
But, they tell me that’s only a third of the kids who could use a helping hand.
Firefighters say being one of Santa’s helpers is a heartwarning experience. The program keeps growing and raising more and more money. They also help more and more children, but the need is great.
“The need is extreme,” said Dexter Firefighter Greg Lintz. “We have a lot more kids than we do money. That’s somewhere near a third of the kids in this county that need help.”
“Some of these children never had much. A few have never made it to Wal Mart before. They tell us they don’t know what’s there,” said Dexter Firefighter Garry Brady.
The names of the children come from the Department of Family Services. So, money raised throughout the year goes to help children right here in the Heartland.
Police and Firefighters say while the need will always be here, the look on a happy child’s face is enough reward to keep them helping year after year.
“We just do all we can,” said Brady. We hope we get more money and go back next year a little harder if we can.”

Police and firefighters say while the need will always be here, the look on a happy child's face is enough reward to keep them helping, year after year.