South Philly woman surprises neighborhood families with gifts on Christmas Eve

Dozens of families got an early Christmas treat after a South Philly woman surprised them with gifts. 

"Show them what you got," said Brittney Clark to her 6-year-old daughter. They’re getting an early Christmas before Santa arrives overnight. The little girl and other children came outside of their South Philly homes to find a U-Haul and cars filled with gifts just for them. 

"This is excellent. This is nice. This is something I ain't experience in a long time," said Clark.  

"I'm glad they're thinking about the community and about other kids, especially due to this COVID. This pandemic" said Clark.  

Wanda Johnson is the woman behind the Christmas Eve giveaway. She lives in South Philly and wanted to do something for the families in her neighborhood. 

"I want to make sure all these kids in here get a toy," said Johnson. It was more than a toy. They received bags filled with gifts and snacks. Johnson and her helpers went parking lot to parking lot in Courtyard Apartments at Riverview spreading love, joy and gifts. 

"I can't take Santa Claus into the kids’ houses so we have to come into the parking lot because of the corona." Johnson says neither Covid nor the rain could stop her mission. 

"A lot of people have lost their jobs. A lot of kids are going to wake up with nothing tomorrow and I don't want that to happen," she said.  

Rashida Gray is with the car club LGW which stands for Let God Work. She and her team do a lot of community service like feeding the homeless and giving to shelters. 

So helping Johnson with donations tonight was something they couldn't pass up. 

"We are out here and this is something that we do from our heart. It's important for us to make sure a child is blessed with a gift from us," said Gray. Johnson says what she's doing is for the kids but she hopes it also helps the parents. 

"It's something that can take a load off their plate. Something that they ain't got to worry about tomorrow that somebody is looking out for them just as well," she said. Johnson says everyone from the Queen Village Association to Councilman Mark Squilla to neighbors helped with gift donations to make this happen. It’s the second year she’s held this event. 


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