By Dylan Deprey
As the holiday season rounds the corner, parents stressing between buying a new coat for their children and funding a Thanksgiving meal could rest easy with a little help from the Original Black Panthers of Milwaukee.
The Panthers hosted their third Annual New Coat, Hat and Turkey Giveaway at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library on Saturday, Nov. 17.
“We’ve had some children tell us they never received a brand-new coat in their life, but we gave them one today,” said King Rick, Original Black Panther of Milwaukee General.
Families packed the room, as over 80 children received a new hat, coat and turkey.
Shequila Morrison has been an Original Black Panther member for three years, and said the event was the biggest giveaway they had done yet.
“You never know what you’re going to get,” Morrison said. “Sometimes it can get a little hectic or stressful, but we always have it under control.”
She worked the coat line and helped children try on their new coats and hats. She grinned as the kids flashed their new gear.
“I love giving back to the community, and seeing the smile on the kid’s faces,” Morrison said.
Last year they hosted the event at the Atkinson Library. This year they chose the MLK Jr. Library in the Harambee neighborhood.
“We like to go to places in the community where we’re accessible to people because we do this to honor and respect the complete community, especially our children,” Rick said. “We see kids outside in the cold with no hats, no gloves, no nothing, and we’re here to change that.”
Lorraine Butler got a ride from her Amani neighborhood home to attend the event with her two children.
Her daughter and son both received a coat and new gloves. She said she loved the way the Original Black Panthers of Milwaukee consistently gave back to the city.
“I love the way they help the community,” Butler said. “It’s a blessing.”