'It's a blessing': Volunteers deliver gifts to Chicago communities impacted by gun violence

Michelle Gallardo Image
Sunday, December 25, 2022
Volunteers deliver gifts to communities impacted by gun violence
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Volunteers, with Santa Claus, delivered gifts to West Side and South Side Chicago communities impacted by shootings on Christmas Day.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It was just four months ago that five people were shot near a high rise at 63rd and Michigan.

On Christmas, children's faces lit up with joy as Rabbi Tamar Manasseh and her merry crew of elves handed out gifts to young and old alike.

"Chicago gets a really bad rap. We hear about all the horrific things that happen all over the city all the time and today, this is about spreading as much love in places that don't normally get the love," said Manasseh.

The giveaway has been taking place for six years now. Organized by Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killing, volunteers collect toys, separate them by age group and then drive to different locations around the South and West sides, all specifically pinpointed as spots that could use some extra holiday cheer.

"It's good to see their smiling faces of the kids, the parents, pictures. 'Hey, Black Santa, Hi Black Santa.' It's always a pleasure to be out here," said "Dreezy Claus."

The appreciation from those on the receiving end could not be more evident.

"They always let us get anything we want. It's a blessing," said Brosch, a gift recipient.

Tanisa Maxon is another gift recipient.

"Being the heart of Englewood, so much bad things happening around. So, just bringing us all together and seeing the kids happy and safe, and things like that, it brings more joy," Maxon said.