KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The homicide rate in Kansas City could break records. To date, 139 people have been killed this year.
But to help those families, Healing Pathway Victim Service Agency hosted the seventh annual Christmas event for children of local homicide victims.
More than 200 children came to the event to meet Santa, take pictures with KC Wolf or get their face painted.
It's a difficult time of year for these families, as this is the first time they'll be without their loved one. Raven Stanford, one of the attendees, lost her son, Christopher, in July.
"Heartbreaking, devastating," Stanford said, "it's days I keep my head above water you know. I stay strong for them,"
Rhonda Herring lost her son, Brandon, in 2016.
"I stay strong because I believe, I pray, I stay strong because I know one day I'm going to get my justice," Herring said.
After participating in the events inside, the families could venture outside where they are met with individualized gifts for the children.
Healing Pathway is a volunteer organization that has served more than 1,000 children in the metro area since 2012.
For more information, or to donate gifts, visit the Healing Pathway website.