PALM COAST, Fla. (December 8, 2023) – Welcoming organizations supporting families in need during the holidays, Wal-Mart has become the go-to shopping center, helping stretch the dollars and ensuring the shelves are stocked with the season’s hottest toys.

Lacy Martin, Jay Scherr

On Friday evening, the Palm Coast Wal-Mart hosted Christmas with Community Heroes and 118 of the children signed up for a shopping experience. Lending a hand, shoppers from all sectors of the community donned their festive holiday gear – from ugly sweaters to flashing hats and necklaces to help children ages 4-12 feel at ease as they shook off responsibility for a moment and just enjoyed the wonder of being a kid.

Each of the 118 children was gifted $150 to spend and they were conscious of every dollar as they shopped. One 7-year-old started his shopping with a new pair of shoes while another 7-year-old in foster care selected a cell phone, highlighting the awareness of children of their own needs, even at a young age.

Colleen Conklin

Christmas with Community Heroes founder Larry Jones was moved by the support the organization received again this year, even with so many charitable organizations vying for valuable community dollars.

Bob Pickering, Nealon Joseph

“I know what it’s like to wake up on Christmas morning and wake up without a gift under the tree,” said Jones. “I don’t think any kid in today’s society should wake up Christmas morning without a gift under the tree, so that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”

“I thank them very much. From the bottom of my heart I applaud them for stepping up to the plate and helping out a kid in need,” he said.

Team Christmas with Community Heroes 2023

It was a heart-warming evening for the volunteers who helped wrap, decorate, cook food, and ensure the event went off without a hitch.

“Christmas with Community Heroes has been around for over 15 years, founded by Larry Jones and I am so proud to have spent my third year participating and coordinating such a fabulous event,” said Lacy Martin.

“Between 4 committee members, we strive to provide the most magical Christmas experience for over 100 children in our community. I am so grateful to be part of this organization. It’s truly humbling.”

Team Chiumento and Penelope Anderson