Program gives at-risk kids a chance for a shopping spree

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DENVER -- Every year, Walmart employees gear up for the Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives shopping spree for students in the Wyatt-Edison Charter School, an after school program benefiting at-risk youth.

“We get $100 to spend,” said sixth grader, James Powell. “I can get my mom and brothers and sisters something, just because I did my homework and got good grades.”

Rev. Leon Kelly has been running his holiday program for years; this year, another 25 youngsters got a chance to team up with law enforcement officers, U.S. Marines, and other mentors to spend their stipend on their loved ones.

“I always tell the kids, I have my eye on them,” said Kelly. “I know, just like Santa, who has been naughty and who has been nice. The nice ones get the reward!”

Most of the kids had little trouble finding gifts to buy, ensuring they will have presents they can put under the tree.

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