Big Mama hosts school supply giveaway
LAUDERHILL, Fla. (WSVN) -- A beloved community figure extended a helping hand to South Florida schoolchildren who may otherwise find it difficult to show up for class with everything they need.
"Our goal is to serve 2,000 kids here today, at Central Broward Regional Park," said Essie Reed, better known as Big Mama. The community leader and her charity, Team of Life, Inc., gave away clothes, shoes and thousands of school supplies at the event Friday afternoon.
"Grab any book bag that you want, baby," Reed told a girl who was tentatively gazing at a table full of new backpacks, still in their plastic wrappers.
The Broward County children also received free haircuts from local barbers. "I just moved here from Las Vegas, so I'm starting at a new school," said a boy as his barber, Anthony Bennett of the International School of Health, Beauty & Technology in Fort Lauderdale, used his clippers to give him a crew cut.
When asked if he didn't mind cutting the boy's hair for free, Bennett replied, "This is my pleasure, doing this for the community, giving back to the people that [are] less fortunate."
The Home Depot hosted workshops at the event, helping some of the students build items made of wood. When asked if he was enjoying himself, a volunteer said, "This is what it's about: giving back."
Reed said her faith plays a significant role in pursuing charity work. "That's what God wants. He wants us to come together," she said. "He wants everybody to feel what Big Mama feels, cause I'm always begging for my people, for my children that Big Mama feels their love. I can't do it [alone], but with their support-- thank you, Jesus-- with their support I'm able to do it."
Reed also thanked 7News for its support, and in particular, 7News reporter Derek Hayward.
Essie Reed: "Mama wants to thank you all, and especially sending my baby back to me. God bless you."
Derek Hayward: "Your baby?"
Essie Reed: "Yeah, that's you, Derek."
This is the first of several events Team of Life, Inc. has organized across South Florida. "We have several more communities to cover," said Reed.
For more information on Team of Life, Inc. log on to www.bigmamahelp.com.
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