CHICAGO - It was an early Christmas surprise Tuesday for seven children whose mothers were murdered last summer while working for peace in Englewood.
A south suburban businessman made sure they would be remembered on their first Christmas without their moms.
It was a Christmas miracle on South Damen in Chatham as four giant tow trucks decorated in holiday cheer pulled up in front of a home carrying presents, singers and best of all, Santa.
All this for seven children ranging in age from one to 20 years old who needed some Christmas love.
Last July, the mothers of those seven kids –- 26-year-old Chantell Grant and 35-year-old Andrea Stoudamire -- were gunned down while conducting a peace vigil on a corner in Englewood. They were members of a group called "Mothers Against Senseless Killings" -– or MASK.
"I just wanted to shed some type of positive light,” said Early Walker, who donated the gifts to the seven children.
Walker owns a south suburban towing business and organized the surprise, donating $3,000 in gifts to the two families.
"These two moms were heroes. They died trying to stand against the violence and here they died because of gun violence. So I just felt compelled to get involved in these kids' lives. They're gonna have it rough,” Walker said.
Volunteers filled a relative's house with the donated gifts: shoes, shirts, dolls, toy trains, trucks, and even new bikes.
Among those helping deliver the gifts was 16th Ward Alderman Stephanie Coleman.
"Just 48 hours ago, five minutes away, 13 were shot. But this is renewed hope. This is renewed faith. That Englewood is rising. That it is still good in Englewood,” she said.
It was an act of Christmas kindness at the end of a painful year.
"It helps a whole lot. We really appreciate it. They're smiling,” said Breana Bolling, who is the sister of a murder victim.
"I didn't know it was gonna be like this much and this many people. But it was so nice to see everything. And it made me so happy,” said Brinity Johnson, who is the daughter of a murder victim.
The two families were also presented with cash totaling about $500. There has not yet been an arrest made in those murders despite a $42,000 reward.