Early Walker, owner of W&W Towing Company, surprised three struggling Chicago area families by giving them a $300 grocery shopping spree at the Pete’s Fresh Market Grocery Store, located at 1968 Sibley Blvd. in Calumet City, IL.
The event that helped these families—who have collectively struggled with unemployment, death and health issues throughout the year—occurred on Sunday, November 24. Three of the bereaved families’ stories have been previously documented by Chicago area media.
Walker was approached by various area elected officials concerning numerous families within their respective districts and communities who have had enormous bad luck in 2019. Walker and his staff carefully chose families who appeared to have the most dire and extreme living circumstances.
Three families had suffered diverse circumstances, which led them to hard times throughout the year. Some of these circumstances included the death of a mother or father by way of gun violence. Other scenarios included the inability to find suitable employment that would allow the parents to adequately feed their families.
Leading up to the surprise shopping spree, Walker worked with elected officials to persuade these families to show up at Pete’s Fresh Market, and the families had no clue why they would be meeting at the store.
Upon entering the facility, the families were embraced by Walker and his staff, and then escorted to the grocery section of the store for their special Thanksgiving shopping spree.
The three families included:
The family of Jamel Roberson, the security guard who was tragically killed by a Midlothian police officer. Roberson was on duty when he was attempting to break up a fight at Manny’s Luxury Lounge in Robbins. He was mistakenly killed by the officer. The mother of his children along with his mother received two $300 vouchers. Sometime after the tragedy, Manny’s was permanently closed.
The family of Marshia McGill Bowman was also selected. McGill Bowman lost her life to gun violence while driving her four young daughters to their home in Dolton. Her husband and children received two $300 vouchers.
The family of Kentayvia Blackful. Kentayvia was shot in the head by a stray bullet in September of 2019 in south suburban Harvey. She died the following morning on her 12th birthday. Her parents and little brother received a voucher for Thanksgiving.