Kids of slain anti-violence activist surprised with rent-free home, new car

CHICAGO (WLS) -- When a Chicago woman was shot to death over the summer, it left her three children struggling to survive.

Andrea Stoudemire's now 21-year-old daughter was left to care for her two younger brothers without a home and without a car. On New Year's Day, one man and some businesses have teamed up to change that. A pair of much-needed surprises brought new hope for the siblings who are still grieving the loss of their mother.

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Chantel Grant, 26, and Andrea Stoudemire, 36, were both mothers of four children who worked with Mothers Against Senseless Killings to stem violence in the Englewood neighborhood.

"I thought it was probably more gifts for them or something but, oh my God, this is, oh my God," Brinity Johnson said.

Thanks to local businesses and a community leader, Johnson and her brothers got a rent-free home for a year and a new car.

"I can't even," she said, laughing. "I can't find the words to say because I am just so excited."

The man behind the gifts and smiles is W&W Towing owner Early Walker.

"These kids' mom were taken away from them because they committed to trying to stop violence," Walker said.

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Santa came early to Chicago's Englewood neighborhood to shower the children of two slain anti-violence activists and mothers with Christmas presents.

Last week, Walker met the family after he donated presents, clothes and food for their Christmas holiday. It was then he learned the siblings had suffered more loss than he knew.

"They've been pretty much bouncing from house-to-house since then, so upon hearing that story on Christmas Day it kind of hit, kind of hard," he explained.

So he teamed up with Leak and Sons Funeral Homes and Joy Management to pay it forward to the children of a mother who was killed last July by the very thing she was trying to stop: gun violence.

For this family, a new home and the new car will mean more than just a place to stay or means to get around but an opportunity to stay in the community their mom fought so hard to make better.

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ABC7 Chicago has the latest on convicted murderer Addolfo Davis re-sentenced to life in prison and the city's plan to launch a universal taxi app.

"She would be like so happy and she would tell us that we blessed," Brinity said.

"She would hug us, tell us we blessed and honestly be over excited," said her brother Micheal.

Stoudemire was a member of Mothers Against Senseless Killings, a group working to keep Englewood safe. Now, the community has come together, putting their arms around these children as their mother had done for the entire neighborhood.
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