Holiday of HEROs is H.E.R.O. for Children's annual outreach to provide children impacted by HIV/AIDS with at least one gift they want and one gift they need during the holiday season. Through the outstanding generosity of some exemplary individual and group donors, H.E.R.O. was able to serve 297 children from Atlanta, Athens, Albany, Augusta, Macon, and Savannah, Georgia via this program in 2019. Children were given the opportunity to submit wish lists with items they both wanted and needed 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 three gift-wrapping parties at Northside Church in Roswell- one in late November and two in early December- during which hundreds of presents were prepared by numerous volunteers. H.E.R.O. hosted a holiday party on Saturday, December 21st, 2019 at the Anthony Flanagan Memorial Recreation Center in Atlanta, where 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 was available to our families, which they thoroughly enjoyed. As a special surprise, Cosplay volunteers dressed as popular super heroes- Ant Man, Doctor Strange and Wonder Woman- made guest appearances and took photos with the kids. DJ Saundae Rowe had the parents, children and volunteers on the dance floor, playing a variety of music. Preceding lunch, members of UGA HEROs introduced a challenge game for the event - Balloon Pyramid. The objective of the game was to blow up a balloon to carry cups from one end of the table to the other and create a 6-cup pyramid. Did we mention they couldn't use their hands? This made for great fun. The child to build his/her pyramid first won a pair of movie passes!

H.E.R.O. provided a catered lunch for the families, volunteers, UGA HEROs students and staff present at this event, while the DJ served up the beats. Following lunch, 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 and HERO staff 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 2019 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: 
  • Toys for Tots
  • Greer and Andy Monin
  • Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta
  • Candice Rivera, St. Peter Channel and the St. Vincent DePaul Society
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Augusta Alumnae Chapter
  • Allison Kolber
  • Dene' Dixon
  • Sheryl Merrey
  • Leah Burdett
  • Katharine Banning
  • Helen Faser
  • Marinell Henson
  • United Way Greater of Atlanta
  • Wande Okunoren-Meadows and Little Ones Learning Center
  • Kathy Mattox
  • Rebecca Brown
  • Costco - Alpharetta
  • Costco - Duluth
  • Costco - Kennesaw
  • JoAnn Akers
  • Melissa & Willard Woodrow
  • Northside Church, Roswell
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: 
  • Katharine Banning (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Cheryl Bentley (The Intersect Group)
  • Beth Cameron (The Intersect Group)
  • Brooke Carroll (The Intersect Group)
  • Denise Clark (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Sarah Cook (The Intersect Group)
  • Carolyn Drakeford (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Atlanta Alumnae Chapter)
  • Anaya Fennell
  • Stella Floyd (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Atlanta Alumnae Chapter)
  • Lashawda Gilchrist (Walgreens)
  • Ian Green
  • Laurie Gunn (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Atlanta Alumnae Chapter)
  • Erness Hill (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Atlanta Alumnae Chapter)
  • Gaye Humphrey
  • Erin Kett
  • Debra Klayman
  • Justin Kraham (Walgreens)
  • Alison Ligon (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Atlanta Alumnae Chapter)
  • Sheryl Merrey (Pilot Club of Atlanta)
  • Gail Munroe
  • Tracy Munroe (The Intersect Group)
  • Millicent Norman (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Atlanta Alumnae Chapter)
  • Paula Pahl (The Intersect Group)
  • Amber Paxton
  • Truyen Pham (Epiq)
  • Annette Shaw (The Intersect Group)
  • Peyton Snyder (The Intersect Group)
  • Khanh Tran (Walgreens)
  • Members of the 2019 UGA HEROs Team
  • Jayne Weiss (Walgreens)
  • Bradley Weiss (Walgreens)
  • Sandra Westor (The Intersect Group)
  • Allison Whilby (The Intersect Group)
  • Anja Wiebe (The Intersect Group)
  • Kelsy Wright (The Intersect Group)
In 2019, UGA HEROs raised $305,285.29  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, and host activities for our local kids. 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 $20,000/year or less).

Many of 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.).
  • 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.

Saturday, January 25th, 2020 | 3:00 PM | Atlanta, GA

Sunday, June 21st  - Friday, June 26th, 2020 | Winder, GA
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