KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dozens of children in the metro were treated to an early Thanksgiving dinner Tuesday evening thanks to the FOX4 Love Fund.
The annual "Thanksgiving with the Kids" event was a much-needed break for Matthia Kelsey and her four children.
“It makes me feel good to see them just having fun and not worrying about when are we going to get this or that,” Kelsey said.
Last month, the Kelsey family’s home caught fire, leaving them with nowhere to go but an area hotel. They only recently found a new place to call home.
“It’s been a lot of sleepless nights and trying to figure out how to get things back,” Kelsey said.
Their story is just one of countless hardships the 60 children, invited to the FOX4 Love Fund’s annual Thanksgiving event, are dealing with as we head into the holiday season.
“We have kids from low-income housing, but then there are also unaccompanied minors who -- there’s no one at home, so this really is their Thanksgiving,” said Allyson Summers, executive director for FOX4 Love Fund.
Every year, the organization partners with two different agencies to make sure kids in the area don’t go without this time of year.
“We work with case managers quite often, and they identify kids that will really benefit from an event like this, where people from the community are loving on them and really showing them that they matter,” Summers said.
Strouds catered the event for free, and they made sure they brought extra.
“All the kids get to go home with food, so they can have Thanksgiving here but can also have it at home,” Summers said.
The event also had stations for arts and crafts and a photo booth. Santa also made an appearance, as well as Chiefs Ambassadors and KC Wolf.
“It’s just a really feel-good night,” Summers said.
And a relaxing one for Kelsey, who for a night got the chance to forget her struggle and just enjoy her family.
“It’s nice to see [my kids] happy,” Kelsey said. “They can just have fun and forget for a little while.”
These kids will back together in a couple of weeks for a Love Fund shopping spree with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to Summers.