NORTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- For a group of kids in North Philadelphia on Christmas Eve, presents were given out a day early from a famous face.
Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill played the role of Santa.
He hosted a toy giveaway for over 3,000 local children.
Mill selected the students from schools in the area that he says are near and dear to his heart. For him, this is a small way of saying Merry Christmas to the community.
"Just giving back to my neighborhood. This is where I grew up. We are able to do it so we are doing it," Mill said.
Mill grew up in single-parent home and understands that, for many, this giveaway may be the only opportunity that they have to put presents under the tree.
He opened up his heart and his wallet.
The rapper gave away about 500 bicycles, hundreds of shoes, backpacks, toys and more.
"My son can get toys for Christmas. But everybody can't afford to be in a situation where they can have a good Christmas, so we wanted to bring Christmas back to our old neighborhood," Mill said.
Hundreds, if not thousands of families, showed up to the toy giveaway. But this was not only about getting a toy, it was about the spirit of selflessness and giving back.
"I didn't get a bike because it might be about 500 people outside and they really need a bike. I really don't need a bike, my mom works a lot," Michael Barnes-Pace of North Philadelphia said.
For the families on the receiving end, this means more than words can express. This will be a Christmas to remember.
"I would like to thank him for doing this for other kids that don't have enough money to experience this in their own homes," Trinity Echandi of Northeast Philadelphia said.
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Meek Mill surprises 3,000 local kids with toy giveaway