JACKSON, Mich. — Wanda Beavers known as Mama Tu-Tu in the community is celebrating Easter by doing what she does best. Giving back to those in need.
"It's important to me because I came here homeless," Beavers said.
"When I was homeless it was hard to live. Different people gave me, fed me. The interfaith shelter, I lived there. They gave back. That's why it's important to me. I take homeless people in also, so I give back. The Lord was so grateful. So, I give back," Beavers said.
On this Easter Sunday, like so many years before, she is giving away 450 Easter baskets, stuffed animals and shoes. She normally feeds the community and does an Easter egg hunt but had to switch gears this year due to COVID-19. This time she is doing a raffle to give away 10 bicycles.
The supplies are donated to her through countless organizations that recognize her importance to the community.
Wanda's daughter Felicia says without her, Easter wouldn't be the same for Jackson's south side.
"She's beyond important. People anticipate her having this event every year. For the unfortunate people that can't afford to give their kids baskets or bikes she brings this activity out every year," Felicia said.
People started gathering at Mama Tu-Tu's just before 1 p.m. on a warm Easter Sunday. Wanda says people will continue to come by for her the baskets throughout the day. She anticipates she will probably have more people come by tomorrow as well.
"If they don't come, if they come tomorrow, we'll be passing out until they're all gone," Wanda said.
"Mama Tu-Tu helps the whole community," Nicole Howard said. Howard has known Wanda for 10 years and has helped her host these community events for several years.
"It's just a joy to have her around. I don't think it wasn't for her a lot of kids wouldn't have an Easter. She helps everybody. She has helped the homeless, the kids, the community, all of Jackson she has helped," Howard said.
"My mom, when we were children, she always did it for the community and our neighborhood. I love children, I love Easter. To pass out Easter baskets this year is a great thing," Wanda said.
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