CHICAGO (WLS) -- A special Santa dropped by to bring joy to students at one Englewood school Thursday, surprising them with hundreds of gifts they never saw coming.
"The last 72 hours we actually surprised 2,000 children and 300 staffers and teachers in Chicagoland," said Daisie Foundation Executive Board Member Julie Hightower.
Hightower and volunteers with the Daisie Foundation worked to send Chicago kids into holiday break with a whole lot of cheer.
Over the past three day's they've handed out gifts to students in Humboldt Park and Austin, and Thursday in the Englewood neighborhood at Nicholson STEM Academy.
"I just want to see smiles on kids' faces. There's nothing better than that," said former Chicago Bear Anthony "Spice" Adams, filling the roll of Santa for the surprise gift giveaway.
"I'm a city kid. A lot of times you don't get that joy to come around that often. And to see all the energy that's here all the teachers getting involved and volunteers, it's great," he added.
"I'm surprised, I'm glad I got this. I'm just happy," said Nicholson 7th-grader Natalya Griffin.
Sixth-grader Jaquan McNeal's showed off his dribbling skills with his new basketball.
"I was definitely surprised when I found out that this was going on. I was like, whaaaaat?" he said.
"They're so grateful, they're so thankful and what we take for so little, it means so much for them," Hightower said. "So it just puts gratefulness and thankfulness to a whole different level of what we should have appreciation for."
"I appreciate them so much, and thank you," McNeal said.
This is the third year the Daisie Foundation has surprised students with Holiday presents like this and they just want to keep expanding that outreach.
Former Bear Anthony Adams joins Daisie Foundation to surprise students on South, West Sides with Christmas gifts