Chicago children who are victims of gun violence given Christmas surprise

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago children who have been victims of gun violence were surprised with gifts, food and fun as part of an early Christmas celebration Friday.

"These children have been through so much," said Andrew Holmes, community activist and head of the Andrew Holmes Foundation. "We want to do something to change that pain.

Holmes has been an advocate for victims of violence for years. He organized the party with the Schofield Foundation and other groups.

"It's uplifting for the police to be here too, supporting us," said Rushonda Walker, mother of Damia Sheppard. "I loved it, our kids were enjoying themselves."

Sheppard, 8, was shot in the arm in July while inside a relative's home. Outside, her mom was grazed shielding her baby brother. Another relative was shot and did not survive.

"I don't think it's fair, because they wouldn't like it if it happened to them," Sheppard said.

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"This has been a rough year, it really has," said Walker.

Six-year-old Aubrey Broughton survived a shooting last August that killed her sister Serenity. Today she was showered with gifts.

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Two-year-old Ella Harris, sleeping soundly after the day's activities, was shot in the arm in October.

"No 2-year-old baby at all should have to experience anything like that," said her father Everett Harris. "I'm just grateful she's still here and I'm able to take care of her, her and my other daughter as well."

Friday's party served as a little distraction and a little bit of light as the children and their families try to heal.
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