Holiday with a Hero

Holiday with a Hero

United Way Simcoe Muskoka is excited to announce that we are bringing the first annual Holiday with a Hero to Barrie. In partnership with CFB Borden and Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions, we are making this holiday season an amazing one for local children and their families.

We know that poverty is a real issue in our communities, and it can make it much more difficult for many families to enjoy their holidays. Holiday with a Hero hopes to make this time of year better for those who need it most.

How Does it Work?

We are pairing up to 75 children who are experiencing the effects of poverty with local heroes, including first responders and CFB Borden personnel.

Each pair will be given a gift card for the child to buy $100 worth of gifts for their family from a local shopping centre. Not only do the children get to have a fun shopping experience with their Hero, but they get to be a hero themselves as they give their family an unforgettable holiday.

The only rule? Each child has to buy at least one thing for themselves.

Once all the children have finished their shopping, they hop on a bus to be a part of a Hero procession of emergency vehicles as they make their way to the Barrie YMCA. Once there, Heroes and children will enjoy pancake breakfast and participate in activities like a bouncy castle, cookie decorating and face painting. They will take some time to wrap their gifts and rumour has it that Mr. and Mrs. Claus might make a trip down from the North Pole.

A History of Holiday with a Hero

While this is the first year of Holiday with a Hero in Barrie, it has a strong tradition of bringing joy to children and their families across North America. Since 2003, the program has helped underprivileged children in Carson City, Nevada.

Closer to home, the event has been hosted in Chatham Kent since 2013. Originally called Shop with a Cop, the day was meant to help shine a positive light on interactions with law enforcement for those children who might have only seen them in a negative light. Since then, the name has changed as the day grew to involve Heroes that includes firefighters and paramedics.

Why We Need Holiday with a Hero

With over 60,000 people in Simcoe Muskoka living in poverty, the holiday season can be more of a challenge than a celebration for many of our friends, family and neighbours. By bringing together our partners in the community, we want to change that.

By working together, we can create an incredible holiday season for some incredible children.

The Holiday with a Hero Logo

Every year, local charities and non-profits are given the opportunity to benefit from pro-bono design services from Georgian College design students. This year, we were fortunate to work with Victoria Tassielli to make the Holiday with a Hero logo for our inaugural event.  Victoria is a Georgian College student who has loved since she was little. Growing up, Victoria was always doing something creative, like making play dough with her cousins. Inspired by her art classes in high school, Victoria is now pursuing design as a career.

Thanks to Victoria for her great work in making Holiday with a Hero possible!

Click here to see how you can support Holiday with a Hero. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can share this inspiring holiday event and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the first annual Holiday with a Hero!

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