An event will be held for 3-year-old Colton Roseblossom of West Union, who suffers from a birth defect that affects the blood flow though his heart, at the Hillsboro Walmart this Saturday, May 20 at 11 a.m. as part of the Walmart Heart program.
Roseblossom will receive a ride from Walmart trucker Nick Koutz in a Walmart tractor pulling a Walmart Heart trailer. He will also receive gifts from the store and gift cards for a shopping spree at the store during the event.
“Usually we have the police department and the fire department lead the way with their sirens going and make a big hoopla for him,” said Pamela Adkins, who works for the human resources department of the Walmart Distribution Center in Washington C.H. “He’ll have a little shirt on that looks like our drivers’ shirts and a little badge of his own so he’s an honorary driver.”
Cake, juice and candy will be served to anyone who attends the event, and donations are welcome.
The Walmart Heart program began in 2006 when four Walmart truck drivers came together in Seymour, Indiana to brainstorm ways they could make a positive impact on the communities they serve.
They were inspired by the story of Jack Scott whose mother called her local Walmart with a dilemma. Her son needed to stay up all night for a surgery. The store’s manager agreed to keep the store open all night, and a Walmart trucker who made a delivery to the store that night stayed with Scott and kept him company.
The four truckers — Rickey Oliver, Phillip Hargrove, Danny Ewell and Greg Carter — wanted to help sick and special needs children and came up with the Walmart Heart program.
“I don’t know who said this, but one of us said, ‘Look, that is a great story about what they did several years ago with Jack Scott; why don’t we do this as a program and we can touch more kids all over the United States with Walmart Transportation,’” said Oliver. “We had the right people at the right place, and it all just came together at that meeting we were having.”
The four drivers divided up the country and started visiting distribution centers to recruit drivers to participate and kicked off the program with about 300 drivers. Since then, the program has expanded to include transportation office associates and store associates.
The transportation drivers and office associates all volunteer and do not receive pay for their time setting up and running events.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.