Local artists help provide Christmas gifts for families affected by gun violence

Local artists are teaming up to provide Christmas gifts for families affected by gun violence.

"Make sure you get everything you need for your kids. Yeah that's what I'm doing," said Bill Walton.

He spent Wednesday evening at Old Navy in Center City shopping for his son and daughter. 

"Alright sizes 8 and 10," said Bill who filled bags with clothes and with  no limit because of local artist Suave Gonzalez and a team of other artists who wanted to help two struggling families stock their Christmas trees this year. 

"It's rough out here right now so I definitely appreciate it and I know my kids going to appreciate it," he said. Bill says he really needed the support this year like many families. 

"With this pandemic and all I kind of actually needed the help," he said. Also shopping, Syheeta Miller and her daughter. 

"I feel so blessed. I'm so appreciative," said Syheeta.

Both families have something in common. They've been affected by gun violence. 

Bill says his close friend was murdered and Syheeta says her son's father was killed when she was pregnant. 

"It took a toll on his family and my son not being able to meet his father or ever see him. That's a big thing," she said. It’s the reason Gonzalez chose them for the giveaway through a recommendation by grief organizations. 

He wanted to help families affected specifically by gun violence which has also affected him. 

"I just recently lost a niece murdered in Delaware and second because of my background. Where I come from the streets of South Bronx and Kensington so to me it's a giveback," he said. Gonzalez was also incarcerated because of gun violence but says art saved his life. 

And thanks to this group of artists who joined him tonight these families will have a little less worry this holiday. 

"They can wake up and say you know what? God is beautiful. We've been blessed," said Gonzalez. 

The individual artists and Morton's Contemporary Art Gallery all helped fund the shopping and gave the families gift cards. 


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