By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Friends of slain Philadelphia police officer Moses Walker Jr., who was gunned down in North Philadelphia last year (see related story), are turning tragedy into triumph by spreading a little holiday cheer.
“He was a giver and he cared about people and he loved people,” says Marc Poland, an entrepreneur and longtime friend of Officer Walker.
Walker worked for the 22nd police district and was a 19-year veteran of the department. He was shot and killed while walking to a bus stop near 20th and Cecil B. Moore Avenue in August 2012 (see related story).
“We don’t want the community to always remember (only) that something so tragic happened,” says Poland. “We believe that if we give and show love, maybe this will turn over the community to something positive.”
Poland and other friends of Walker went to the Alliance For Progress Charter School, just two blocks from where Walker was killed, seeking a way to help. The school identified 11 students in need and asked them to write their wish lists, which were sent to Poland.
“We went shopping,” he says, noting this is the second Christmas they have given to the school. “This is what Walker did for us. We want to do this for students who would not otherwise have a great Christmas.”
The kids received stacks of presents, and the school’s kindergarten class received four LeapPads.
Eight-year-old Mark was one of those who wrote his wish list.
“I put a bike and Legos and a remote control helicopter,” says the second grader (far left in photo).
Mark’s mother, Monica (second from left), says she didn’t know Walker but she is grateful for his legacy.
“With me having five kids and Mark’s birthday three days after Christmas, it helps out a lot,” she says.
Poland says he and friends of Walker have adopted Alliance For Progress and will continue to give for years to come.