Clinton Township firefighter Adam Simon, along with his son, Lucas, 9, of Macomb Township, left, helps Xavier Moffett, 12, of Clinton Township, pick out Christmas gifts Dec. 8 at Meijer in Clinton Township. It was part of the annual Shop with a Hero event, conducted by firefighters in Clinton and Harrison townships.

Clinton Township firefighter Adam Simon, along with his son, Lucas, 9, of Macomb Township, left, helps Xavier Moffett, 12, of Clinton Township, pick out Christmas gifts Dec. 8 at Meijer in Clinton Township. It was part of the annual Shop with a Hero event, conducted by firefighters in Clinton and Harrison townships.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Firefighters shop with kids for christmas gifts

By: Nick Mordowanec | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published December 13, 2018

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP/HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Shop with a Hero was launched by the Harrison Township Fire Department seven years ago as a way of giving back to the community it serves, specifically those less fortunate.

“The whole point is, there are so many kids out there, no matter if the economy is good or bad, and we see them on calls, that have nothing,” Harrison Township Firefighters Local 1737 President Matthew Sahr said.

In Harrison Township, students in need are identified through L’Anse Creuse Public Schools teachers. Sahr said 15 children in the district each received a $100 gift card, courtesy of the Meijer store on Groesbeck Highway in Clinton Township. The children’s parents are also on hand to give either shopping advice or encouragement — similar to what the firefighters do, Sahr said.
“They don’t come with a list (of things they want),” he said. “And we don’t want them to get $100 worth of toys if they might need a hat or a coat.”

Nine Harrison Township firefighters helped the children shop this year, Sahr said.

He said the Clinton Township Fire Department came on board three years ago.

Clinton Township firefighter Adam Simon annually appears at the event. He was joined this year by 15 of his colleagues in the Fire Department, and about 14 Clinton Township children showed up to scour the shelves.

He called this year’s event “phenomenal.”

Simon’s son, Lucas, took a liking to a 12-year-old boy with a heart condition. The youngsters walked around Meijer, with the boy — who can’t engage in sports or other physical activities — seeking Xbox items for personal entertainment. He didn’t want to go over the spending limit, though.

“This 12-year-old boy who had such a hard life medically kept saying, ‘I don’t want to go over,’” Adam Simon said. “I told him, ‘Whatever you do, don’t worry about going over.’

“Those stories come out of this all the time. It’s not just people coming for gifts and toys. His mom said he doesn’t have many friends. (The boys) now connect on Xbox. I’m not the hero. I was shopping with the hero, because of what he went through.”

Firefighters have become enthralled with the event, getting more excited each year to provide some hope and joy for local families. Some even cut their vacation times early to be present during the morning shopping spree.

“This was my favorite year of all,” Simon said. “It was so much more of a special event for me just because of that connection and seeing the next generation, like my son.”

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