Making the holidays happier for those with cancer

Becky Vargo • Nov 23, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Local emergency personnel are looking for the community’s help as they try to make the holidays a little brighter for area families affected by cancer.

Shields of Hope, an organization of West Michigan police, fire and 911 dispatch personnel, is deep into Heroes Holiday mode, collecting household and fun items needed by the 14 families they are supporting this year in Ottawa, Muskegon, Kent and Allegan counties.

“The financial burden that cancer puts on families during this fight is overwhelming,” said Sgt. Christie Wendt of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and spokesperson for Shields of Hope. “Shields of Hope tries to ease that burden by providing the families with needed items for their household, along with some fun things on the family’s wish list.”

The items are delivered with fire trucks and police cars, along with Shields of Hope personnel and community volunteers. Santa Claus also makes an appearance.

Shields of Hope partners with local businesses and public safety agencies to help provide the needed items for Christmas. Wish list trees are also set up in the communities where the families reside.

Locations for the local wish list trees are:

Spring Lake

— Lakeside Towing & Hometown Auto Repair, 624 E. Savidge St.

— Spring Lake Fire Rescue/Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, 106 N. Fruitport Road (at the corner of M-104)


— The Storage Group, 42 S. Third Ave.

— Fruitport Honor Society, Fruitport High School, 357 N. Sixth Ave.

— Fruitport Township Hall, 5865 Airline Road


— Northern Physical Therapy, 25 Conran Drive

— Coopersville City Hall/Sheriff’s Office/Fire Rescue, 289 Danforth

— LT’s Firehouse Cafe, 259 Main St.


— Main Street Pub, 11240 University Parkway


— Muskegon Heights Police Department/Fire Department, 2715 Baker St.

— A2Z Service Center, 431 E. Broadway

Locations of wish list trees for other areas being served in the Heroes Holiday program can be found at the Shields of Hope website at shieldsofhopewestmi.com/heroes-holiday. Other needs and volunteer opportunities are also noted on the website. Donations may be made online.

Deliveries will made to the adopted families from Dec. 10-20, Wendt said.

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