Jennifer Brooks had two words to describe the community’s response to a Christmas food and toy drive that she organized in honour of her son, Hudson: “simply amazing.”
“It took three truck loads to get it to my house,” Brooks told Peace Arch News by email, of items donated during the two-hour event.
Dubbed Hudson’s Hope, the event was held Sunday (Dec. 11) outside the South Surrey RCMP office – where a memorial to Hudson has been maintained since the 20-year-old was shot and killed by police in July 2015.
Brooks decided to host the drive as a legacy to her son; to celebrate his life, and ensure that his final moments will not be all he is remembered for.
Sunday, the memorial was accented with red, gold and silver poinsettias, as well as festive balloons and sundry other holiday decorations.
Gifts and food items were dropped off by the bag- and box-full.
“What a wonderful community we have,” Brooks said. “Thank you so much.”
The cache was given to Sources White Rock South Surrey Food Bank.
Food bank manager Jaye Murray described the response – – in all, 625 pounds of food and nearly 200 gifts – as “absolutely phenomenal.”
“I was just shocked,” Murray said Wednesday. “The people were so generous. And for (Brooks) to think of us, given what she’s been through – so amazing.”
Murray said the amount donated was what she would expect to see collected by an entire school.
“It was heartwarming because so many people came out to support them, and in turn, support us.”
The food items were to be distributed to food bank clients this week as part of holiday fare to help them get ready for Christmas. The gifts are to be distributed next week.
Brooks told PAN last month that she aimed to make Hudson’s Hope an annual event.
She is waiting until the new year to gauge what next steps – if any – are needed in the push to have police held accountable for her son’s death. Officials with the Independent Investigations Office announced in October that a report would be filed to Crown counsel “for consideration of charges” in connection with the incident.