Donnie Wahlberg Talks Heroes & Helpers Partnership and Why His Fans Keep Giving Him Gift Cards

Donnie Wahlberg has been playing Detective Danny Reagan for 10 years now on Blue Bloods. He had to spend some time understanding real officers for the role.

After all these years, he still finds ways to partner with them. Wahlberg partnered with Target’s Heroes & Helpers program to celebrate 10 years of the program. He talked to Showbiz Cheat Sheet over the phone on Dec. 4 about this and he revealed why fans keep giving him gift cards.

Donnie Wahlberg celebrated 10 years of Target’s Heroes & Helpers program

Donnie Wahlberg helps Target celebrate 10 years of its Heroes & Helpers program in Edgewater, N.J.
Donnie Wahlberg helps Target celebrate 10 years of its Heroes & Helpers program in Edgewater, N.J. | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Target

Target’s Heroes & Helpers program pairs police officers and firefighters with underserved kids at Target stores to help them get gifts for their families for the holidays. Wahlberg has played a detective on Blue Bloods for a decade now and he was brought in to help celebrate the program lasting just as long.

“Being a part of Blue Bloods for the last ten years, I’ve worked closely with many different first responders and law enforcement in particular and really come to admire and respect what they do so much,” Wahlberg told Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

Wahlberg went to the event at Target’s Edgewater, NJ, store. The program has hosted more than 2,000 events and awarded $5 million in grants helping 100,000 children.

Wahlberg said he never got the Christmas present that he wanted growing up

The actor talked about what the holidays were like for him when he was younger. He said his upbringing is one of the reasons why he moved forward with this partnership.

“But also I’m a kid who was underserved as a child and grew up in a really tough environment and didn’t have a lot of access to things,” said the actor.

The performer later added, “For me, as I said, I grew up in a house of nine kids and I don’t think I ever got the Christmas present that I wanted. So to be a part of an event where I can actually watch a child get the gifts that they want that they otherwise may not have had a chance to get, it just brings me incredible joy and a great sense of pride.”

He said his fans give him Target gift cards because his love for the store

The performer is another celebrity who loves Target. He said his fans are very aware of this.

“They know that I’m a diehard Target shopper,” he said. “It’s kind of a thing. Like I literally have fans show up on tour and hand me Target gift cards as gifts during our meet and greets because they know I love to shop at Target.”

He continued, “So I might get like a $10 or $20 gift card, which is great because they know I can go and buy some of my favorite snacks or some t-shirts on tour, which I need too. I pretty much only get my socks and tank tops and t-shirts from Target.”

It goes to show that the actor gets a little help getting those tank tops that he wears on tour from fans. He also enjoyed helping celebrate the program that helps children have a good holiday.