Vandals Torch Christmas Charity Van

South side charity hopes it can still deliver gifts after vandals torch van

By James Langton
|  Friday, Dec 3, 2010  |  Updated 8:14 AM CDT
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25 Gifts for the Urban Athlete

When someone set fire to a charity's van last month, they may have destroyed the Christmas hopes of hundreds of children.

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Someone set fire to a van on the South Side last month and may have destroyed the Christmas hopes of hundreds of children. 

The charity Kidz Korna each Christmas gives away thousands of presents, but vandals last month set fire to the van they used to pick up donated toys.

"The countdown is on for us," said Delece Williams, the founder of the charity which helps children who've been exposed to violence and child abuse. 

Williams and other volunteers now worry they won’t be able to get enough gifts for children in need.

"We don’t want to let these young people down," she said, adding that the holiday gift program is one of their most popular events and a way to reach out to the community.

"I remember seeing last year around this time, a line from that door, all way past 80th Street waiting for toys," Community Activist Lamont Coakley said at a Thursday press conference.  "It’s sad to say that they might not get served this year."

Volunteers are hoping someone steps forward before it’s too late.
 
"If someone has a van, one van, two vans, it doesn’t matter. They have a huge, huge, huge heart and they can deliver to a lot of kids if we enable them to do that," said mayoral hopeful Dock Walls.  "Christmas is more than just a holiday, it’s a tradition that services children and gives them hope>"

Kidz Korna has been helping children in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood since 1995.

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