Holiday of HEROs is H.E.R.O. for Children's annual outreach to provide children impacted by HIV/AIDS with one gift they  need and one gift they  want during the holiday season. Through the outstanding generosity of some exemplary individual and group donors, H.E.R.O. was able to serve  255  children from Atlanta, Athens, Albany, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah via this program in 2018.
Children were given the opportunity to submit wish lists with items they both needed and wanted for the Christmas season. H.E.R.O. received financial donations, in-kind gifts, and child sponsors to support this initiative. Sponsors agreed to 'adopt' a set amount of children, shop for their gifts, and deliver them to the H.E.R.O. office or have them picked up. Gifts for children in partner cities were shipped, delivered or collected from our headquarters. We facilitated two gift-wrapping parties at Northside Church in Roswell- one in late November and one in early December- during which hundreds of presents were prepared by numerous volunteers (Walgreens leading the pack in numbers!). H.E.R.O. hosted a holiday party on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at the Warren Boys and Girls Club in Atlanta, where goodie bags and gifts were distributed to local families. H.E.R.O. children and their families had the opportunity to come out and enjoy fun, games, food and live entertainment.
Throughout the event, face painting and Henna tattoos were available to our families, which they thoroughly enjoyed. As a special surprise, Cosplay volunteers dressed as popular super heroes- Black Lightning, Moana, Princess Tiana, and Wonder Woman- made guest appearances and took photos with the kids. DJ Byron, Jr. from Fat Beat's Inc. had the parents, children and volunteers on the dance floor throughout the event, playing a variety of music - from oldies to hip hop to reggaeton. Preceding lunch, H.E.R.O. staff introduced the first of two challenge games for the event - Stocking Stuffers. The objective of the game was to get as many ping pong balls as you could into your partner's Santa hat in one minute's time. Did we mention that the person catching the balls was blindfolded? This made for great fun. The team with the most balls in their hat won!
H.E.R.O. provided a catered lunch for the families, volunteers, UGA HEROs students and staff present at this event, as DJ Byron served up the beats. Following lunch, volunteers led an arts and crafts activity in which our children created "Thank You" cards for our donors. Next, H.E.R.O. staff introduced the second, four-player challenge game - Junk In the Trunk. A tissue box containing ping pong balls were tied around each player's waist, making sure the tissue box was in the back. The objective of the game was to shake the ping pong balls out of the box, without using your hands. The first person to empty their box won a prize! When the music began, the contestants began to 'shake it out!' This game was enjoyed by both the contestants and onlookers. Next, H.E.R.O. staff raffled off numerous presents including gift cards to local stores, art sets, toy cars, makeup, a tablet and more! To conclude the event, our UGA HEROs team distributed the Holiday of HEROs gifts to all of the families.
H.E.R.O. would like to give special thanks to all of the donors and volunteers who aided us for our 2018 Holiday of HEROs program. H.E.R.O. received generous financial gifts, in-kind donations and/or child sponsorships from the following individuals and organizations:  
  • Walgreens
  • Greer and Andy Monin
  • Amy Nyland and the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta
  • Excel Chiropractic
  • Candice Rivera, St. Peter Channel and the St. Vincent DePaul Society
  • Wande Okunoren-Meadows and Little Ones Learning Center
  • The Pilot Club of Atlanta
  • UPS Store - Alpharetta Highway (Roswell)
  • Sam's Club- Alpharetta
  • Costco Wholesale- Perimeter
  • Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
  • Northside Church
  • Louise Shimer (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Allison Kolber
  • Kathy Mattox
  • Leah Burdett (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Sheryl Merrey (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Dene' Dixon (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Costco Wholesale- Woodstock
  • Costco Wholesale- Alpharetta
  • Costco Wholesale- Duluth
  • Costco Wholesale- Brookhaven
  • Arletta Brinson (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Susan Fletcher (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
In addition, H.E.R.O. was fortunate to have the following groups and individuals donate their time and efforts this year through shopping for, wrapping, organizing, transporting, and delivering gifts and supplies, as well as volunteering the day of the Holiday of HEROs party:  
  • Alex Alvarado
  • Chastity Anderson (Walgreens)
  • Jeff Baker (Walgreens)
  • Katherine Banning (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Alex Bergeron (UGA HEROs)
  • Chavius Boykins-Brooks
  • DJ Byron and Fat Beats Inc.
  • Frances Casey (Walgreens)
  • Lerato Cummings (UGA HEROs)
  • Jessica Davis (Walgreens)
  • Philippe Desamours
  • Dené Dixon (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Tiffany Dryden (Walgreens)
  • Stephanie Dubas (Walgreens)
  • Jill Furstenau (Journey Christian Church)
  • Lashawda Gilchrist (Walgreens)
  • Ian Green
  • Shasta Hall (Walgreens)
  • Christian Hill (Walgreens)
  • Dinah Howell (Journey Christian Church)
  • Justin Kraham (Walgreens)
  • Shauna Markes-Wilson (Walgreens)
  • Deborah Martin (Journey Christian Church)
  • Karen Martin (Journey Christian Church)
  • Amir Martinez (Walgreens)
  • Phyllis McCall (Journey Christian Church)
  • Sheryl Merrey (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Madie Moore (UGA HEROs)
  • Doris Murphy (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Bijal Patel (Walgreens)
  • Jayna Patel (Walgreens)
  • Brion Porkins (Walgreens)
  • Tolya Porter-Adepoju (Walgreens)
  • Katira Richmond (Walgreens)
  • Mike Schaeffer (Walgreens)
  • Louise Shimen (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Jaime Shoculey (Walgreens)
  • Arielle Singley
  • Ken Smith (Walgreens)
  • Katy Stone
  • Yashica Tate (Walgreens)
  • Ariel Terrell (Walgreens)
  • Carol Trusty (Journey Christian Church)
  • Katy Warren (UGA HEROs)
  • Elizabeth Watterson (Walgreens)
  • Harry Webster(Walgreens)
  • Melissa Wilks
  • Yiwen Zou (Walgreens)
We couldn't have done it without you!

H.E.R.O. for Children, Inc. was fortunate enough to receive a donation of 80 tickets to the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl's Michigan vs. Florida State football game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, December 29th. Tickets were distributed to H.E.R.O. children, their parent(s), mentors, and staff, as well as children and chaperones from H.E.R.O. partner organizations. We greatly appreciate the ongoing support of Chick-fil-A, as such opportunities provide wonderful 'unforgettable experiences' for our clientele.

For 2018, UGA HEROs raised $226,073.52 to support HERO programs! UGA HEROs remains the largest collegiate philanthropy organization in the Southeast, and works year-round to raise financial support for HERO children across the state. We would like to thank all of the more than 2,000 members of UGA HEROs for their tremendous contributions to improving the lives of children infected with/affected by HIV/AIDS in Georgia.

The Super HEROes Mentoring Program  is a community-based, one-on-one mentoring program serving children infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The program provides these children with the opportunity to have a positive role model through a mentor and to strengthen their life skills, self-esteem, communication skills, goal-setting and academic performance.

Why HERO children need mentors? 

Approximately 33% of HERO children are HIV positive and the other 67% are affected (i.e. someone who has an infected parent, sibling, residential relative, or has lost a relative to HIV/AIDS-related complications). Twenty-five percent (25%) of HERO children have lost a parent as a result of HIV/AIDS-related complications, and almost 90% of HERO children come from low-income families (household incomes are $15,000/year or less).

Our children struggle with day-to-day challenges including low self-esteem, social difficulties, academic underachievement, self-destructive behavior, etc. You can help change this!

Responsibilities of a Super HERO Mentor:
  • Spend one-on-one quality time with a child at least twice a month, a minimum of two hours each time.
  • Participate with the child in a bi-monthly group activity organized and sponsored by H.E.R.O. for Children.
  • Be a positive role model for the child.
  • Contribute to strengthening the child's self-esteem, social adjustment and life skills.
Eligibility Requirements:
  • Be at least 22 years of age.
  • Be willing and available to comply with H.E.R.O. for Children's policies and procedures.*
  • Have dependable automobile transportation, maintain a valid driver's license, verifiable automobile insurance and abide by Georgia vehicle codes (i.e. seat belts, speed limits, etc.).
  • Must have a suitable home environment.
  • Pass background checks, including motor vehicle record, sex offender registry, national criminal background screening and social security verification, prior to serving.
*  Training and continuing education provided.

Thursday, March 28th, 2019 | 6:30 PM
Atlanta, GA

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