Happy surprise for Dolton girl who lost mother to violence

DOLTON, Ill. (WLS) -- A holiday surprise for a little girl who lost her mother to gun violence earlier this year in south suburban Dolton.

She was taken for a ride by a towing company that she will never forget.

Anything on the shelf up for grabs for this little girl. She has been through so much over the past year and this will be her first Christmas without her mother.

Four-year-old Ma'liah Haymond was a little shy at first. But with her grandmother, Dalena Grant, by her side, she quickly got the hang of it.

"She wasn't ready but when she realized it, she just started picking up everything. Like, what, wow... I want this... I want that," said Grant.

Ma'liah's mother, DeArrea Haymond, was gunned down in a car last January in Dolton.

The shooter has not been caught.

Early Walker, the owner of W&W Towing, heard about her story and wanted to play Santa for her this Christmas. Walker gave Ma'liah $500 shopping spree at Walmart.

"I was speechless when I got the phone call. I cried. And I did pray to the lord to bless me with a Christmas because I didn't go shopping this year," said Grant.

"This is what it is about. This is something that we do every year and the smiles on this particular young lady's face. What else do you want? What else can you ask for?" said Walker.

Although Ma'liah will spend her first Christmas without her mom this Sunday, she always has her close to her heart.

"Ma'liah is doing fine. She is happy. She misses her mommy as well. We talk about her every day, but right now I am mommy. She is the reason I keep going every day," said Grant.
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