Jennifer Hudson hit the streets of Chicago, Illinois on Friday to personally deliver back-to-school supplies to students in memory of her late nephew.
The Spotlight singer was left devastated in 2008 when William Balfour, her sister Julia’s former husband, murdered her mother Darnell and brother Jason, and killed his ex’s son, Julian King, who was just seven when he died.
Hudson created the Julian D. King Gift Foundation in her nephew’s honor, and every year, on his birthday, she and Julia give out educational supplies on what they’ve dubbed Hatch Day.
The Dreamgirls star refused to let the coronavirus pandemic halt the annual tradition, and instead of holding a big gathering, she turned the giveaway into a mobile event, so the goods were dropped off at locations around Chicago for kids in need.
The sisters joined a group of 15 volunteers to make the backpack deliveries, which featured pens, pencils, and notebooks, as well as tablets and personal protective equipment such as face masks and hand sanitizer.
“Now more than ever, young people need to know that there are people standing up for them and rooting for them as they learn and grow,” the siblings shared in a statement.
“So much has changed this year for the city of Chicago and the entire world, but providing children with the tools they need to succeed will always be our mission. Though Hatch Day may look different this year, we’ve never been more committed to supporting our communities.”
Jennifer and Julia also held a little celebration on what would have been Julian’s 19th birthday, for which the singer/actress’ son, 11-year-old David Daniel Otunga Jr., made a cake.
“On this Hatch day many kids in chicago was still blessed !” the star captioned a series of pictures of the family get-together. “Happy heavenly birthday nephew !! We will always honor and uphold your memory ! Until next time guys (sic)!”
– Cover Media0