CHICAGO (CBS) — Christmas has come early for two Chicago families, thanks in part to a Chicago rapper who knows what it’s like to make it through hard times.
It was a special morning at WGCI, as two listeners were awarded with Christmas cash. They were chosen after writing letters to the radio station, and they were surprised with the good news Wednesday morning on air.
“We are going to give you $1,500 to help you get those laptops for your girls. I really appreciate it,” WGCI host Kyle Santillian told Fred Spence, of Englewood.
Spence has lost his job and didn’t have money to buy gifts for his wife and five daughters.
“They’re going to be real happy. I’m going to get a whole bunch of hugs and kisses,” Spence said.
Chicago rapper Lil Durk knows first-hand how tough it is around Christmas when you live in poverty. He donated money to this Christmas charity.
“I grew up with nothing, you know what I’m saying? But my momma, she did a good job; best she could do, but I grew up with nothing, so I know how it feels,” he said.
WGCI host Leon Rogers said Lil Durk’s donation was a side of rappers most people don’t see.
“I like the fact that you’ve set a standard that I feel like some other little homies out here should follow, man. If you really love your city, this is a way you give back,” he said.
A very shy 13-year-old Kiara Brooks also wrote to the station. Kiara’s father has been in prison for the past 12 years.
“My Christmas list begins with shoes for me and my brother, but most of all I just want my family to have the best Christmas ever,” she wrote.
That wish came true for Kiara, as WGCI gave her $1,000 for Christmas.
Her mother, Sidnita Motley, said she was blessed, thankful, and happy for the surprise gift.
WGCI chose the two winners out of a pool of more than 2,000 letters. Mountain Dew also sponsored the radio station’s Christmas giveaway.