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CPS caseworkers last-minute shop for children new to the system

Through Community Partners of Dallas, Child Protective Services caseworkers were able to pick Christmas presents for children who didn't fill out a wish list.

DALLAS — On Wednesday, Community Partners of Dallas hosted its annual "Last Stop Holiday Shop." It's an opportunity for Child Protective Services caseworkers to pick gifts for children, many who may have recently entered the system and missed the toy drive.

The first caseworker, Karlisa Hartford, lined up with her coworker at 12:30 in the morning. They waited eight hours for the doors to open.

"This year, I was number one!" Hartford said excitedly. "I wanted to make sure I was the first one here, and that I could pick great toys for my kiddos."

Behind her were dozens of CPS caseworkers waiting to do the same.

Paige McDaniel, President and CEO of Community Partners of Dallas, said there's a line every year. 

"There are so many kids who would have nothing if not for [the caseworkers]," she said. "We are truly grateful. They are angels on earth."

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The CPS caseworkers were given breakfast and gifts before the shopping began.

Hartford jumped up as they called the first 15 people in line.

This year, she had three new families with a total of 12 children to shop for. Eight of them were able to fill out wish lists. Karlisa had the list in her hand and went digging for exactly what they wanted.

Four of the children didn't have a chance to write down what they wanted, so Hartford did her best to pick out gifts based on each of their personalities.

"I'm going to be the caseworker that comes through for them," she said.

More than a hundred caseworkers attended. Because of this event, thousands of donated gifts will be given to children in the community.

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