Active-duty service personnel and first responders helped 57 local underprivileged students shop for presents during the third annual Holidays With Heroes event held Dec. 7 at the Poway Walmart store.
Sponsored by The Summit for Children Worldwide and the Poway Kiwanis Club, the event matched youngsters with one or two Marines, sailors, police officers or firefighters. The adults took the children through Walmart, helping them select presents for their family members. Each child was given a $100 gift card to spend.
Once the shopping was completed, the children wrapped their gifts, visited with Santa Claus, completed arts and crafts projects and enjoyed a hamburger dinner. Each child also received a no-sew fleece blanket assembled by members of the Painted Rock Elementary School K-Kids Club, the Twin Peaks Middle School Builders Club and the Poway High School Key Club. All three youth groups are sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.
The participating Marines came from Poway’s “adopted” unit, the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Pendleton. Also participating were sailors from Coronado Island, the Poway Fire Department, Poway Sheriff’s Station and the Escondido Police Department.