The Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade has been providing much needed resources and assistance to the African American community and all people of need and support for over 50 years. Their mission of self-help and determination has never been more apparent and needed than through their work over the past year in helping the community navigate through this COVID-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, February 27, the Brotherhood Crusade, under the direction of Charisse Bremond-Weaver, the organization’s president and CEO, once again stepped up to help people-in-need, providing gift cards, boxes of groceries, PPE supplies, as well as brand new shoes and clothing to over 1,700 families seeking assistance to help them navigate through these challenging times.
The Brotherhood Crusade and its team could not pull off such an extraordinary event alone, but the benevolent-based organization has a wide reach of resources, and when Bremond-Weaver makes the call for assistance, organizations and supporters respond. Brotherhood, along with local unions SEIU-UHW, SEIU-2015, SEIU-721 and Education Workers United, brought together hundreds of community volunteers in order to safely provide these resources in Brotherhood’s Grab & Go drive-thru event.
Various vehicles lined up before 5 a.m. on Crenshaw Blvd. in front of the Sentinel offices and around the entire block, in order to take advantage of this much-needed act of altruism. Groups such as the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank provided many of the groceries for the community event, along with other organizations, churches and businesses, including Agape International Spiritual Center, Blackline, Ford Motor Company, Blue Shield of California, Door Dash, Golden Road, and El Pollo Loco, were on-hand to help in this much-needed community resource program.
Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. – chairman of the Brotherhood Crusade board of directors and executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel said, “Challenges and challenging times are nothing new to the courageous people of our community. The work of the Brotherhood Crusade continues to empower our people through troubling times by providing the necessary resources to last through this pandemic now and sustain themselves beyond today. That has been our mission in the past, that is our mission now, and that will be our mission into the future,” Bakewell charged.
“My heart breaks when I see so many families hurting and desperately in need. This is what inspires me to continue to push forward and support and lead our community through these difficult times. I can’t say enough about how appreciative our Brotherhood Crusade family, and I personally am, for all of the selfless organizations, companies, and people who have supported this effort, as well as for the support we have received throughout the last 50 years, in order to provide services and resources to our community. Black History Month is an acknowledgement of the years of dedication and determination of so many Black people who came before us to provide for a better way and equal opportunity for us all. I could not think of a better way to pay tribute to the richness of our Black history than in helping families with the most basic of life’s necessities – food, clothing, and personal protective equipment. I only wish we could have done more. But, the truth is – we will,” said Charisse Bremond-Weaver, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade.
As vehicles lined up and wrapped around Crenshaw Blvd., community members pulled up to the various distribution stations, and popped their trunks while volunteers, including Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, who came out in support of the event, enthusiastically placed shoes, groceries, bags of new clothing, and packages of PPE equipment, while bidding well-wishes to the deserving families as they drove in appreciation. Also, volunteering was Heather Hutt, a current candidate for the upcoming 54th District assembly seat election. Hutt says she and her family have supported the Brotherhood Crusade’s magnanimous efforts throughout her life. Throughout the event, the volunteers danced to the sounds of DJ Dion Halton and took great pride in knowing that their work and efforts made life better for other families.
All of the recipients were appreciative of the gifts, patient in waiting for their turn in receiving donations, and very thankful to everyone involved at the Brotherhood Crusade event for bringing these services, and volunteering their time to the people in this community. One SEIU Volunteer stated, “I love this event; I was able to walk here from my house and be able to provide for my neighbors, my friends, my family, and my community.“ That is what this day of giving is all about.