Christmas party brings a bit of joy to Kansas City children who have lost a parent to homicide

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dozens of children gathered for a Christmas party Saturday. They don't all know each other, but they have one thing in common.

Each has lost a parent to homicide.

FOX 4's Molly Balkenbush was at the event at KCPD South Patrol Division, and spoke with attendees.

For some of these kids, this will be the first Christmas without mom or dad.

Even though it was a fun atmosphere at the event -- the kids were playing together and plenty of fun activities to do -- it was a hard day for some of the other family members.

FOX 4 spoke to one mother who said this will be the family's first Christmas without her son, Brandon Johnson. Brandon was shot and killed in September.

She was at the Christmas party with Brandon's son that he left behind.

Mayor Sly James said this was just a small way to make these families feel loved during the holidays.

"It's a way for the community to wrap their arms around kids, in particular, and the families of victims, so that they know that we still care even though a lot of violence may have been visited on them," James said. "It's about making sure that Kansas City stays a caring community for everyone."

The Healing Pathway Victim Service Agency, KCPD, and Mothers In Charge all helped make this event happen.

Mayor James said that he hopes our city can finish out 2016 with no more homicides, so that no more children will lose a parent.