Getting to the Heart of Christmas

Christmas Tree Display

For the sixth year in a row, Walmart is partnering with the Today Show for the “Getting to the Heart of Christmas” series that brings a holiday surprise to three groups.

Brightening Spirits at Sunshine Acres

Dec. 24, 2014

Since its founding by the Rev. Jim and Vera Dingman in 1954, Sunshine Acres has never been just a foster home. To many of the more than 1,600 children who have lived there, it is their extended family. Set on 100 acres on the outer edge of Mesa, Arizona, the community does no formal fundraising and relies on the generosity of neighbors and strangers alike.

This month, Sunshine Acres was in for a huge surprise. As part of Getting to the Heart of Christmas, Walmart and The TODAY Show teamed up to throw the biggest holiday celebration Sunshine Acres has ever seen.

Walmart also provided $5,000 in gift cards to Sunshine Acres and a $150 card to each family.

Brightening Spirits with The TODAY Show at Sunshine Acres

Samuel Love's Big Surprise

Dec. 19, 2014

Samuel Love is a fifth grade student in Chicago. In 2012, he launched an effort to secure holiday toys for kids in need after watching the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. He "thought about the kids who lived there and that they had just lost everything; so instead of receiving toys, I want to give toys to the kids who really need them."  This is the third year of Samuel's (otherwise known as Santa Sam) efforts to deliver toys to communities recently hit by natural disasters, and he’s in for a surprise.

The Walmart team at store 3601 in Crestwood and the Today Show helped Samuel give back to his South Chicago community by fulfilling 100 Angel Tree wish lists on his behalf and delivering more than a hundred additional toys to children in the community.  The store also provided him with $2,500 in Walmart gift cards to buy toys for children recently affected by the tornado earlier this year in Arkansas. And, since it was time Santa Sam received a gift of his own, Walmart surprised him by fulfilling his own Christmas list.

Getting to the Heart of Christmas: Samuel Love's Big Surprise

Bringing Christmas Joy to Detroit Community

Dec. 12, 2014

The Brightmoor community in Detroit is one that has been hit hard by crime, hunger and poverty.  Resident Cher Doner saw that when kids in the area weren’t in school they didn’t have enough to eat. She began inviting the children she saw on the street into her home for meals.  Shortly after, she made her efforts official and joined Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry program, which enabled her to host a summer meals program in her yard.

Walmart partnered with the Today Show to bring a huge Christmas surprise to Cher and Brightmoor by bringing in groceries, toys, winter coats, supplies and a holiday meal. We also provided $10,000 in gift cards to ensure their pantries stay full well past Christmas Day. Store manager Tony and his team at store 4383 helped bring a bigger and brighter Christmas to these families.

Walmart and The TODAY Show Bring Christmas Joy to Detroit