Metro police, radio station take more than 350 local kids on shopping sprees

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – From police officers to DJs, kids across the metro got to share some holiday joy with working professionals Tuesday.

Officers from KCMO and KCK took time out of their usual schedules to spend time with more than 300 children. They treated them to a shopping spree at Target on Ward Parkway. The kids were each given $100 to spend however they wanted.

“For all the work they do to keep us safe and for the kids to see them in a positive light, how important is that?” said Gina Coronado, who has four children.

Coronado’s children range in age from 2 to 16, and the single mom said shopping for them can be tough.

“The 2-year-old is a lot easier than buying for the 16-year-old,” she said. “[This event] makes it extra special because they’re thought about for one and they get to select stuff that they actually want.”

Across town, at the Walmart on Highway 40 there was a similar shopping spree for children who belong to Operation Breakthrough, an organization that provides “safe, loving an educational environments for kids in poverty.”

“It’s a night they look forward to every year,” said Mary Esselman, the CEO of Operation Breakthrough.

Kansas City’s Hot 103 Jamz! sponsored the outing, supplying 50 children with a free meal and $100 each to help check off their Christmas lists.

“A lot of these children are very selfless,” said Shay Moore, host of The Morning Grind with Shay and Shine.

The kids were paired with DJs and staff from the radio station. They not only got something they wanted, but also picked out something they needed and something for someone else in their lives.

“A lot of times we think about what we’re going to receive, but these children are thinking about what they can give and that to me is the spirit of Christmas,” Moore said.

Making spirits bright while easing the holiday burden for hundreds of families in the metro.

Officers have been able to take more than 500 children shopping in the last three years thanks to the support of the McDonald’s Great Plains Co-op. Hot 103 Jamz! has partnered with Operation Breakthrough for its Christmas shopping spree going on 10 years.

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