CHICAGO — A Chicago non-profit organization is honoring loved ones who’ve died by gun violence in Chicago, bringing in a Christmas Surprise at a Walmart in Pullman.
Children who have been affected by the loss of a loved one due to gun violence are getting more than $100 to spend on holiday gifts.
Tia Eskridge is one of many parents who brought their kids for a day to show the spirit of giving.
“Their grandfather was killed right before the holidays and it’s taken its toll on the kids as well as their grandmother,” Eskridge said.
Philanthropist and founder of “I’m Telling, Don’t Shoot,” Early Walker is one of those serving as the not-so secret Santa with the event. which this year will mark its 10th year in a row.
The nonprofit aims to end the acts of gun violence that has scarred the community at large, according to their website.
“This is what Christmas is about, putting smiles on their faces. It shouldn’t be about shootings — kids should not have to worry about the violence in the community,” Walker said.
Another community member, Tatiana and her son Malachai lost his father due to gun violence and are participating in the event after hearing about it from a fellow church member.
“It means a lot that other people care about us and see that it is a struggle to go through that grief of someone you love that you lost,” Eskridge said.
For Tia and the others, this is a break from the day-to-day process of grieving a loss of a loved one.
For more information on ‘I’m Telling, Don’t Shoot,” visit their website: I’m Telling Don’t Shoot (imtellingdontshoot.org)