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Councilman Reed shops to benefit kids in Kansas City’s urban core

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Christmas Day is still a month away, but hundreds of children who live in Kansas City's urban core are getting presents this week.

The 19th annual Santa's Wonderland will be held Wednesday, Nov. 27, and it's expected to be bigger than ever. It's a time when kids from the urban core can experience a little Christmas cheer by getting a present from people who care.

On Monday, Kansas City Councilman Jermaine Reed invited FOX 4 to go shopping for the event. He grabbed one of more than a dozen carts set aside for the shopping bonanza. The first and only stop was the toy department at Wal-Mart off 40 Highway.

Right away, it was easy to see Councilman Reed was in way over his head.

"I don't have any kids, I've got nieces, nephews and a God child, they're usually pretty easy but this is isn't an easy task," Reed said.

Reed was saved when some helpful kids offered their assistance.

"Thankfully their parents let them hang out with me," he said. "They were able to help me find what type of toys kids actually do like and toys they like at their age."

While Reed was getting some tips, Dwayne Williams with the 12th Street Heritage Development Corporation beamed about Wednesday's 19th annual Santa's Wonderland.

"We're probably around the 800 mark in toys that we've purchased," WIlliams said. "We still have one or two more days to go."

As the President and CEO of the corporation, Williams is hands-on, and events like this make it worth every second.

"This is the coolest thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing," he said.

Williams said the event is vital to the people, especially the children, who live in Kansas City's urban core. He said they are often overlooked this time of year and he's made it his mission to make sure that never happens. He hopes others step in to do the same.

"We can't service the whole city, but we can do our part, and if each organization does their one part, I think we'll all  be able to take care of the kids of Kansas City this Christmas," Williams said.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27.  Children wanting a toy do not need to register, but are encouraged to arrive early.

Santa's Wonderland takes place at 12th and Brooklyn.

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