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Red Cross Hosts Holiday Party For Kids Who Lived Through Disasters

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Some young children who suffered a terrible tragedy recently got a chance to take part in some holiday cheer thanks to the American Red Cross. Bree Driscoll filed the following report.

Robin Prattis and her grand children, 1-year-old Liam and 3-year-old Aleiyah, were left homeless after a fire destroyed their home 4 months ago.

"It’s been really hard. It’s been really hard. Especially for them because they had to adjust to being in a closed quarters and they are used to having their own,” said Prattis.

Monica Zavala and her 2-year-old son Adrial lost their home in Queens to a fire three weeks ago.

"My building got burned and my whole apartment was destroyed. There was nothing. It was ashes. So I lost everything. I lost clothes. I lost the bed. Everything. Pictures. Documents. Everything was gone,” said Zavala.

Story after story of families left homeless after a disaster.

The Red Cross brought more than 100 of them together by for its annual Winter Wonderland holiday party on Saturday.

At the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square there was face painting, food, visits with Santa and celebrities.

"I'm a big kid myself, so I will be running around playing with the kids. Trying to like I said, just focusing today on just forgetting about what happened and having a day to relax. Let loose have a good time, smile, eat some good food,” said former Knick, John Wallace.

The Red Cross responds to eight disasters, like house fires, every day in the greater New York area.

"We help them recover. We help them find resources and provide assistance to them in their hour of greatest need,” said Heather Goodchild of American Red Cross.

Saturday's party gave kids a chance to take their minds off of their recent hardships as well as talk to other kids going through the same thing.

"I liked all the activities. We were coloring and face painting and taking pictures with characters,” said 13-year-old Jenna Murphy.
"Well it has been really fun because you can actually interact with other kids that have the same feelings, a tragedy like you have, but by having fun with it,” said 9-year-old Cheryl Murphy.

The kids not only took home gift bags filled with toys and clothes, but also some happy memories to help them get through the holidays.

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