CHICAGO — Two mothers who dedicated their lives to fighting gun violence in their community, became the victims of a drive-by shooting earlier this year.
Now, the community is making sure their kids are taken care of this Christmas — the owner of W&W Towing put it together.
Four huge tow trucks all decked out for Christmas pulled up with carolers Tuesday, the flatbeds loaded with $3,000 worth of gifts for the eight children.
Early Walker, the tow company owner, worked with 16th Ward Ald. Stephanie Coleman to make this special delivery possible.
This is renewed hope and faith. .. just five minutes away 13 were shot 48 hours ago," Ald. Coleman said. "And having Mr. Walker, the secret Santa, come in our community and spreading the good and us changing the narrative and reminding people that Englewood is rising."
The children, ranging in age from 1 to 19, stood by as volunteer elves brought the gifts inside — including toys, bikes and electronics.
The family also got $1,000 in Walmart gift cards and free groceries delivered.
The children's mothers, 26-year-old Chantell Grant and 36-year-old Andrea Stoudemire, were shot and killed in Englewood on July 26.
They were volunteers for the group MASK — Mothers Against Senseless Killings — and were standing on the corner of West 75th Street and South Stewart, when a dark blue SUV drove past and someone inside opened fire.
The months following the murders have been tough on these families.
19-year-old Brinity Johnson is the daughter of Andrea Stoudemire. She is now the guardian of her two younger brothers, ages 15 and 11. She said the whole experience Tuesday morning means the world to her.
"I am just so excited for my brothers got to experience this, very grateful," said Johnson.
Walmart donated some of the gifts these kids received. W&W Towing also gave Stoudemire's oldest daughter a check for $500.