ABOVE: Forward Times Publisher, Karen Carter Richards and local family
This past week, several local Black-owned businesses teamed up with local schools in the Acres Homes area to surprise those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic for the Christmas holidays.
Booker T. Washington High School, M.C. Williams Middle School and Ernest McGowen Sr. Elementary worked with organizers to select nearly two dozen families from the STEM UP Urban Perspective program to participate in this year’s Christmas giveaway.
“This was our second year doing the event, but this year we wanted to open it up to more families because of the hardships that so many have faced due to the pandemic,” said Dr. KiKi, who was the primary organizer of the event.
Some of the students that were selected lost parents due to COVID-19 and have been experiencing homelessness due to family job loss and a myriad of other issues.
Each family was adopted by a local Black-owned business and was surprised with their Christmas gifts during an unveiling at the historic Houston Forward Times headquarters in Houston’s Third Ward community.
“When Dr. KiKi reached out to us we were honored to be a part of such a great cause,” said Houston Forward Times Publisher Karen Carter Richards. “We reached out to a number of local businesses and organizations who jumped at the chance to spread some Christmas cheer.”
Prior to the giveaway, the selected students participated in a rocket launch to Santa at M.C. Williams Middle School. The students spent the day building rockets with their families and writing their Christmas wishes to Santa. The wishes were attached to the rocket and launched.
The students were not aware that their wishes would be seen and that the businesses would help to make their Christmas wishes come true.
“This was a true blessing,” said Rickie Bradford, a father of eight and youth pastor who has been laid off due to COVID-19. “We have a large family and it’s hard right now,” Bradford continued. “The kids will be happy to see all of the gifts and to have something to open.”
Other businesses that participated included: AG Media Agency, Bayou Beat News, Lamik Beauty, Hodges Communications Group LLC, Grubido, Unity Bank, TAS Realty and Alibaster INC.
If you know someone who is struggling this holiday season please reach out to your local food back and outreach center for help.