'Healing the Hood' event brings gifts to children

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thousands of gifts were distributed to children on the South Side on Saturday, just days before Christmas.

The gift giveaway for children facing hardships was organized by Pastor Cornelius Parks, senior pastor of First Bethel M.B. Church, and his organization, Healing the Hood.

Organizers planned to give out 10,000 presents this year -- nearly double what they gave away last year. Gifts were set up on several tables by age groups and one-by-one kids stepped up, picking wrapped presents that were donated by the public or a nonprofit group.

"It means a whole lot to me," said Ieshia Taylor. "This right here really helps out."

The event has been held for the past four years, but it faced a setback a couple days ago when thieves stole seven bags of toys from their storage area.

But Pastor Parks took action, gathering last-minute donations to ensure more families could take home more gifts.
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