Families receive toys, clothing, gifts at emotional Christmas gathering in Englewood

CHICAGO – 13 families in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood will have a merrier Christmas thanks for the program Christmas in the Wards.

For 20 years Christmas in the Wards has spread holiday cheer.

The families were able to play Santa for their families and shop through the Pullman Wal-Mart.

It was an emotional day for several of the families including Marisol Perez.  Like every other parent, she wants her children to have presents to open on Christmas Day.  She spoke today about the struggles she’s had, mainly a bone disease that causes chronic pain and has kept her out of work for two years. Marisol says not everyone who is needy is lazy or doesn't want to work.  She says is an example of someone who is going through a rough time. As her young daughter wiped tears from Marisol eye’s, she told the crowd she was forever grateful.

Congressman Bobby Rush handed out laptops to mothers whose children are on the honor roll.

Another one thousand children received clothing, educational toys and gifts.  Items were donated at Malcolm X College and given out at Olive Harvey College.

Private citizens and local and national businesses also support this progam including the Chicago Cubs, Comcast, ComEd, Walgreens and others.