Christine Parker is on a mission as she holds hands with her two shopping buddies throughout Westroads Mall.
Her father, Chris Parker, watches from a distance as his nine-year-old daughter learns how to be self-sufficient in the stores
"It's awesome, the whole program the whole experience is awesome,” he says. “She may be legally blind, she may have been born early – but God – she's a walking miracle.”
His daughter has joined the annual Ruth Sokolof Christmas Shopping Party, hosted by the Nebraska Foundation for the Visually Impaired Children.
With a hundred dollar budget and two hours to shop for her family, Christine Parker knows real joy comes from giving rather than getting.
"I got some pajamas, a water bottle and a camera,” she says.
She, along with nearly 150 other visually impaired children, has been partnered with local high school volunteers.
“Some of them, they have a bond – a special bond with the children and they come back the next year and have the same child. So that's wonderful, too. It's just very heartwarming to see,” says Karen Javitch, whose mother started the Christmas shopping party 55 years ago.
While Parker’s father remains in the background, he looks on with a smile as his daughter bonds with her friends.
"They were so gentle, kind, caring – it was awesome,” he says.
As she prepares to head home after wrapping her gifts, Christine Parker tells KMTV Action 3 News her favorite part of the day: