This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HOMEWOOD, Ill. – A mother received a gift of a lifetime Christmas Eve.

Selena Gilchrist, who, up until recently was homeless, was chosen from hundreds of entries submitted to Majostee Allstars and Chevrolet of Homewood to receive a new car.

But it wasn’t Selena who entered her name.

It was CTA bus driver, Santino Woods.  He met Selena in October on his Number 20 bus, the madison route.

“She had her kids running for the bus,” he says.  “I saw the kids, I stopped and a couple more kids came along with Selena.  They asked directions to a place and I gave it to her.”

That place was a homeless shelter

“I asked her, ‘Are you headed here for you and the kids or is this for something else?’ She told me it was for her and the kids.”

Santino got her number and offered to help.  He also  happened to see the contest for the car and submitted her story.  She made an impression.

“The fact that her kids were well-mannered.  They spoke when they got on the bus.  They said goodbye when they got off the bus,” Santino says.  “When you have this job, you’re good at weeding out who’s sincere and who’s not and you could tell this woman was the victim of circumstances.”

Circumstances that, today, changed.

“I see joy, happiness,” Selena says.  “Everything that I didn’t have before.  … My kids are being happy. … I just won a car and gifts and love from everybody. It’s just so beautiful today.”

More information at