Tons of barbecues are taking place for Independence Day, but a woman’s grill in Jackson served up something way beyond just food Thursday afternoon. She served up smiles too.
This was all thanks to Wanda Beavers, better known in her community as Mama Tutu. She opened her home to dozens and grilled to feed people who are homeless and in need.
“It feels good man I’m full,” said James Kozioo who has been homeless for years. “I had nowhere to go I didn’t have nothing to eat today. I have $5 to my whole name.”
“It lifts my spirits, it really does to have her around,” said Michelle Hayes who has been homeless for three weeks. “I’ve been knowing her for a very long time and she’s grateful to me I really love her”
Mama Tutu’s backyard was full of people, but nobody was surprised.
“No, nope because every time she does something for the community there’s always a lot of people that come,” Hayes said.
Mama tutu said doing this is important to her because of her bond with people.
“I had people come to me that didn’t have loved ones and had nowhere to go,” said Beavers. “That’s what made all of this kind of come together, the guy that came to me and kept asking, “Mama tutu I haven’t had any ribs.”
So she planned this day.
“I tossed and turned had a talk with the Lord and him and I made it happen,” Beavers said.
“It makes a big difference cause you know like sometimes if you don’t go to the shelter at 12 o’clock you ain’t getting fed,” Kozioo said. “At any given moment you can come over here, she’ll give you a couple dollars to get something to eat or she’ll feed ya.”
And everyone hopes they learn something from mama tutu.
Kozioo said he hopes people learn, “How to love and respect people for who they are cause you know God created us all equal.”
“Doesn’t matter about the color, size, what you do, how you do it, this is all about love and you know the best way to meet people is to feed them,” said Beavers.
This was the first 4th of July party Mama TuTu held, but she told us this definitely won’t be her last. She hopes to make this an annual tradition.