More than 100 Memphis children get early presents through toy drive

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.--Kids took pictures with Santa and filled their parents' shopping carts at Walmart in Whitehaven Friday.

The city of Memphis partnered with the retail giant, along with private donors to provide Christmas for 106 children.

"I want a baby alive doll and a big doll house," said five-year-old Tauria Haynes.

Seven-year-old Ketorious Austin said, "Well I`m seeing what I want to pick out, but I don`t really know."

First responders from the Memphis Police Department and Memphis Fire Department were on hand to help.

Several families told WREG they were extremely grateful.

Cassandra Haynes is the grandmother of Tauria and Ketorious.

She told News Channel 3, "It`s good for my grandkids and it`s real helpful."

Joseph Steele said, "This is going to be a great blessing for my children, considering that I`m going through a situation right now, but it`s okay."

Ken Moody with the City of Memphis explained,  "Each kid gets to spend $150 each, and so, if there`s a family of three, that means $150 for each kid and so it`s just awesome."

Moody says he knows what it's like to not know where Christmas gifts would come from.

"When you’ve been one of those kids, being the youngest of 11 kids, growing up in a single parent household, knowing Christmas is getting close, and not knowing. So, when you’ve been there, and you see the excitement on the kid's faces and you see the relief on the parents’ faces, it’s awesome."

Memphis Fire Chief Gina Sweat says events like this also have a way of bringing out the child in everyone.

"There`s a lot of kids and families having a good time and I`ve also seen some firefighters and police officers that are having a pretty good time as well!"

Of course, putting a smile on a child's face is exactly what the give away was all about.

Moody says this is the second year for the event and they hope to help even more children next year.

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