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Families in need get mini shopping spree during ‘Christmas in the Wards’

CHICAGO — Many of Chicago's aldermen joined families in need across the city for a mini holiday shopping spree Saturday during the 22nd annual "Christmas in the Wards."

This year more than 550 families in 29 wards will benefit from the program. Each one gets paired up with an alderman or other volunteer, and together they pick out up to $250 in gifts, which are mostly paid for by corporate donors.

In Pullman, Ald. Michelle Harris (D-8th Ward) joined Francis Adediji, who emigrated from Nigeria a year ago with his son and daughter.

"We are so appreciate of what is going on here because we see a showing of love to those people who are less privileged and to make everybody come together to enjoy the Christmas celebration," Adediji said.

The kindness ripples through a community to mark the end of a year, and a good start to the next.

"I feel like Santa Claus, and when you feel like you’re giving something back to someone who is truly appreciative of that fact that you’re doing something nice," Ald. Harris said.

The gifts will be distributed during two parties for the families in the next two weeks.