Christmas is often called the giving season but for Sheletta Brundidge, this year it was also the season of giving back.
Like Santa in his sleigh, Brundidge arrived at Kelly Court in Houston’s historic Fifth Ward loaded with toys, treats and treasures for hundreds of children there, whom she could relate to.
“When I was growing up here, kind and generous strangers came through and blessed me and my family,” recalled Brundidge. “The year, I am blessed to be that stranger.”
She may be a stranger to the current residents of Kelly Court, but Brundidge is intimately familiar with the area. Back in the 1970s and 80s, she was Sheletta Smith, growing up in the Houston Housing Authority apartment community in a family that she described as “struggling.”
“I remember one year when a man brought a box of food that had a whole chicken in it. I saw my Mama standing over the sink crying,” she said. “I remember when my cousin and I went to the rec center at Kelly Court for gifts. The folks that brought them left us feeling lifted up.”
Now a successful business owner, award-winning radio personality and podcaster living in the Minneapolis area, Brundidge was back in her hometown with her own four children to celebrate Christmas with her Texas family and friends.
On the drive south, her childhood Christmases were on her mind and on her heart and she came up with an idea to make some merriment in her old stomping ground.
On Dec 22, Brundidge personally knocked on doors and stopped kids riding their bikes in her old neighborhood to alert them that Santa would be there with gifts for them the next day.
On December 23, Brundidge hit the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in Katy before the store opened and purchased hundreds of toys. She loaded up carts with dolls, board games, sports equipment, building sets and art supplies; when she went to pay for the playthings, she happily accepted a $200 gift card donated by Ollie’s.
From there it was on to Kelly Court where an excited crowd of children and parents awaited. Brundidge arrived with jolly old “Santa Pat” (Pat Moss) in tow, along with her Houston crew—her girlhood bestie Fanchon Goode and her sister Darcea Handy—and the joyous distribution began.
“It was a full circle moment; I was those kids,” said Brundidge. “All these years later and this is still one of the most underserved neighborhoods in the city. God gave me an assignment to be a blessing to those families, people who I know work hard but might not have much leftover for Christmas.”
Even after giving two presents each to some 200 children, Brundidge’s work was not done.
On Christmas Eve, she knocked on the door of the actual apartment where she was raised to meet the current residents. She gave the two little boys now living there brand new iPads.
She also printed and framed the photographs that she had taken of the children sitting on Santa’s lap to give to their families to cherish as holiday keepsakes.
Brundidge had so much fun that she hopes to recreate the event next year when she is again back in Houston for the holiday.
“It felt so good to just love on those kids,” she said. “I want them to think like I used to think—someone thought of me and cares about me. Someone wanted to make sure I had a Merry Christmas.”
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.