Woman claims local charity is not allowing her to help - KMOV.com

Woman claims local charity is not allowing her to help

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(KMOV.com) - A woman called News 4 after a local homeless shelter would not allow her to throw a holiday party that she has organized the over the past three years.

"They're so happy it just like a joyous occasion," said party organizer Kandi Smith.  

Smith told News 4 the annual party means so much not only to her, but to the kids and adults in need of a celebration.

"I cook the food at home and wrap all the toys and gifts at home and then I bring everything there and give them a Christmas party," Smith said.

Since 2011, Gateway 180, a homeless shelter in downtown St. Louis, has been the site of a Christmas party. Smith did not select Gateway 180 randomly, for her, the shelter is a special place.

"I know what it feels like to be the less fortunate because I used to live in this same shelter," said Smith.

When she contacted the shelter about the party, officials told her the party wouldn't be allowed.

"I feel like they're intentionally trying to keep me out because they don't have compassion for the people for one they don't care," she said. "Why are they trying to stop me from doing God's work?"

Shelter director Kathleen Beach told News 4 the denial comes down to a matter of charity overload.

"We have so many people wanting to volunteer and put on holiday parties that we have a limited amount of time and opportunities to do that so it was first come first serve," says Beach.

According to shelter officials, Smith is welcome to throw a party at another point during the year.

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